Category Archives: Luke
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 BeerPaws.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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
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.
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.
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.
What is your dog going to be for Halloween?
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!
Several times every day, a brief, soft, electronic hum emanates from our laundry room.
It’s a sound of domestic luxury, of human convenience, of canine indepedence.
This special new entrance to our home is no ordinary pet door. It’s an American-made, high-tech device that offers peace of mind to people while empowering their pets.
What’s so awesome about the electronic pet door?
Mainly, the fact that this door won’t open for anyone but your pet – as long he’s within a few inches and wearing the special RFID collar tag that activates the door panel.
When I found out that PlexiDor was offering to install pet doors for 50 bloggers around the country through a special BlogPaws campaign, I actually squealed with excitement.
I’ll never forget that night. Zach and I were out shopping. The announcement of the opportunity popped up in my email as he was trying on shoes. Right there, in the shoe store, I started filling out the application on my smartphone.
In addition to sharing stats about my blog and how many people follow me on social media, I had to explain why my family could really use a pet door.
My reasons were many, and if you have dogs, I am sure you can relate.
Why the Wayward House really needs a dog door:
- Scooby the elderpin has incontinence problems, and so he needs to go outside a lot (or else he goes inside).
- Scooby the elderpin knows that he should go outside, but sometimes I don’t realize he’s jumping up and down at the door.
- Scooby the elderpin’s issues also mean he often wakes me up multiple times throughout the night in order to be let outside.
- Although Luke has a bladder of steel, he’ll soon be in his elder years.
- Zach and I both work away from home during the day and are not always able to get home for the boys’ midday potty break.
- Due to our work schedules, the boys now go to daycare at Kennel Creek Pet Resort almost every day. That works out great and is part of my Kennel Creek brand ambassadorship, but there are still some days when I’d prefer to leave them home.
- Because I don’t want to stress my dogs out or make them uncomfortable, for years I have been afraid to leave the house for more than four hours at a time without experiencing serious guilt. This has cut short many date nights and across-town adventures.
To my serious surprise, the PlexiDor decision makers smiled on me.
Not only was I selected to receive a pet door to review, but I was able to get the electronic version. When I learned about this, I squealed again. A dog door – especially an electronic one – is a luxury I may never have purchased on my own.
So, how is the PlexiDor working out?
I’ll be honest. I was nervous in the beginning.
Our door is designed for dogs as big as 85-pound Luke, but he still has to duck to get through the opening. Conversely, I worried that the large size door panel could come down on the elderpin and hurt him.
Fortunately, the PlexiDor has a sensor so it knows if there’s a dog or something else blocking it. I tested the door with several objects, including my own wrist. It doesn’t press down very hard, and if it hits a foreign object more than a few times, it freezes open and beeps like crazy. That made me feel better.
Ducking to get through the door hasn’t been a problem for Luke. He seems to have fun with his newfound freedom, and goes in and out much more than Scooby.
The PlexiDor represented two changes for Scooby – a new way to get outside and the need to wear a collar at home. The elderpin had not worn a collar regularly in years but needed one for the RFID tag that opens the PlexiDor. Luckily, his new custom Beer Paws collar by waggiwear arrived just days before the PlexiDor installation (by Four Paws Fence) was completed.
The RFID tag is a little clunky but not heavy. I attach Luke’s to the very bottom of his chrome Beer Paws bottle opener, which seems to help the sensor recognize it.
The elderpin hasn’t completely embraced the new entrance and has made a few messes since the installation.
However, he’s getting used to his new reality, and seems to understand that if he jumps up and down really close to the door, he can get back inside after doing his business. I say that’s pretty good for a ghostfaced dog of indeterminate antiquity!
The Overall Verdict
Allowing free access to the backyard would not be an ideal situation for all families, including ours in the recent past. However, I feel comfortable allowing our current pack the privilege to come and go freely into our backyard that is surrounded by a privacy fence.
I would be curious to know if there is a difference in the learning curve for the non-electronic doors. However, from a pest and personal security standpoint, I am glad we have the electronic version.
Although our dogs are still getting used to having their own special entrance to the house, I now never want them to be without one.
I feel proud every time I hear the whirring sound of a dog coming in or out of the PlexiDor unprompted. This experience proves that you can teach old dogs new tricks and reinforces my belief that they can manage their own needs well if you set them up right.
Luke and Scooby will continue to go to daycare regularly, but the door is great for evenings, weekends and those mornings when I’m moving too slow to get them to the kennel before work.
Does your pet have his or her own personal entrance? Share your stories in the comments below!
A couple of weeks ago, I announced that the Wayward House was about to become even more dog-friendly.
Well, I am finally (almost) ready to tell you all about that.
Here’s a clue:
Come back tomorrow to learn why there is a brand new hole in our back door and what Luke and Scooby think about it!
Spoiler alert: Follow me on Instagram!
It’s always best to meet new people when you’re looking your best.
While the jury is out on whether Luke looks his best in a summer cut, at least he’ll be fresh for the special guest coming over today. Luke got a full groom yesterday at Kennel Creek Pet Resort.
It’s good that Luke is smelling nice and shedding less today because we are celebrating. Something very exciting is happening at Wayward House.
By the end of the day, our home will be even more dog-friendly.