Category Archives: Scooby

Happy Mother’s Day

The greatest love is a mother's. Then a dog's. Then a sweetheart's. Polish proverb.

Happy Mother’s Day, ya’ll. :)

A Day with the Elderpin at The Canine Scrub

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

I’ve been told recently that the elderpin and I share a “special connection.”

I think it is actually best described as codependence.

This is never more apparent than when we are in a new environment, where he’s afraid to let me out of his (limited) sight, and I’m afraid to let him out of mine in case he has an accident.

The best way to keep other people’s carpet clean is for Scooby to be off the ground. Translation: I have to hold him.

To be clear, no one else can hold Squirmy Scooby in these situations. Just look at what happens when they try:

Beer Paws pop up shop at the Canine Scrub

“Where’s mama? Where’s mama? Where’s mama?”

Had my friend Mike let the elderpin down at that moment, I guarantee my little dog would have desperately sought me out (possibly squatting for a pee while en route) and commenced jumping desperately at my ankles upon finding them.

Fortunately, Mike and Lezlie, the owners of The Canine Scrub, a self-serve dog wash in Lincoln, Nebraska, are used to having dogs do all kinds of things in their establishment. And they think Scooby is pretty cute.

The elderpin and I spent the second day of our recent Nebraska travels at The Canine Scrub. Because the weather prevented us from setting our tent up in the parking lot, we set up a temporary Beer Paws shop in a nook inside the business.

It was fun to meet The Canine Scrub customers and see many dogs before and after they got a bath.

We saw some familiar faces and met some new ones.

Bruno, an adoptable dog from Paws UP Nebraska, spent the whole day with us.

Bruno and mix pack

Amy, a volunteer with Paws UP, also brought in her personal dogs, PBR and Brendan, for a scrub and some Beer Paws goodies.

Peeber and Brendan

Archer the very handsome pit bull and my friend Terri’s puppy Dorri both got their first taste of Beer Paws at the event.

Archer

Between customers, Scooby and I got to know Mike and Lezlie of The Canine Scrub a little better.

Mike is an ace at marketing who is always focused on how to make the customer’s experience positive. He’s also a really nice guy. He noticed when I pulled up that one of my windshield wipers was malfunctioning, and he made a point of fixing it for me before I hit the road at the end of the day!

Lezlie is extremely creative. In fact, in addition to operating the Scrub, she makes awesome art for dog lovers.

doberman silhouette

You can order Lezlie’s art online or pick it up in person at The Canine Scrub.

I’m proud to report that there is now something else you can get anytime at The Canine Scrub – Beer Paws!

After Scooby and I tore down the pop up shop, we left some merchandise, Beer Biscuits and doggy beer with Mike and Lezlie. Their business is now our first Nebraska retailer and currently the only retailer of our beer for dogs!

The elderpin and I can’t wait to see Mike and Lezlie again. Our next trip to Nebraska happens on May 17. Stay tuned for more information about that event. It’s not at the Scrub, which means Scooby won’t be causing any scrubbing of carpet to occur!

To Travel or Not to Travel? What to Do with an Old Dog

miniature pinscher

“Do my ears make me look like a bat?”

Every day, my dog becomes a little more “vintage.”

Assuming he was at least 7 (and not the 10-12 they said) when I got him back in 2006, the dude is 14 years old at a minimum.

Every day is precious.

Consequently, I don’t like to spend a lot of time away from him beyond the obligatory 8 hours I have to put in at my non-dog-friendly office.

However, as my own company Beer Paws grows and we head into event season, I am busier than ever, with places to be on many evenings and weekends.

In Scooby’s younger days, he was my constant companion. He came to work with me. He partied with me. Anywhere he could go, I brought him.

What's a retirement fund?

What’s a retirement fund?

But as his face gets whiter, his bones more creaky and his bladder less reliable, I began to feel it is easier on him if I don’t take him everywhere. I’ve been leaving him at home during local events and booking him at the kennel when I travel, with the idea of not upsetting his routine too much.

But you know what?

I haven’t been giving the old guy enough credit.

He’s an excellent roadtrip copilot. He just sleeps until the car stops moving or stares at me while I drive.

And people love to meet my little smiling dog when he hangs out with me at Beer Paws events. (It’s just better if the event is outdoors, so I don’t have to feel bad if he has an accident.)

miniature pinscher wearing a hoodie

Cinco de Mayo 2013

In the next blog post, I’ll talk about some of the elderpin’s recent travel adventures.

In the meantime, share in the comments your thoughts about taking old dogs on the road.

Wordless Wednesday: My Favorite Guys

I spent last Saturday with these two characters. It was a great day.
dad and scooby

“Blessed is the person who has earned the love of an old dog.”
–Sydney Jeanne Seward

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 Chewy.com 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 Chewy.com.

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.

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.

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.

While He Was Sleeping

It’s the end of the weekend, and I can’t wait to be in this state:

sleeping miniature pinscher
As usual, Scooby the elderpin got a lot of zzz’s in this weekend.

The little old guy has earned the right to rest (and, apparently, pee) whenever he darn well pleases.

This also provides me ample opportunities to photograph him looking extra adorable. Case in point:

sleeping miniature pinscher

Sometimes, the snaggletoothed little fellow looks a little silly.

sleeping scooby 3

But even in his sleep, the elderpin always wears his little Scooby smile.

sleeping scooby 4

And now, it’s time for me to follow the elderpin’s lead. Good night, friends!

I know you all take pictures of your super cute dogs while they are sleeping, too. I’d love to see them, so head on over to the Wayward Dogs page on Facebook and share!

If you haven’t already, don’t forget to enter my Cloud Star Dynamo Dog treats giveaway

Reflecting on a Really Weird Year

Looking back is what people do at the end of a year.

We review in our minds the awesome, awful and weird things (because that’s the kind of stuff that sticks out in our memories) we’ve done or that have happened to us over the past 12 months.

wpid-IMG_20130609_111536.jpg

Maybe we try to make sense of it all, or maybe we just catalog the incidents as individual souvenirs from a moment in time. Maybe we even let Facebook or Instagram do this all for us through an automatically generated montage of “significant” posts.

I’m no different than any of you.

The biggest moments of my 2013 have been on a constant loop in my head lately. And I don’t know about you, but for me 2013 was intense.

I really can’t remember another year in my life that has been so extreme.

Because this blog is about a little more than just dogs, if you’ve been following, you know 2013 brought death and disappearance to my human family. The dynamics of my canine pack also changed in an unhappy way.

I am not special for having experienced these things. Everyone on the earth experiences loss.

I can only imagine that they, too, experience it as a series of permanent holes in the heart, dark tunnels you ought to be mindful of exploring too late in the night or even too often during the day.

the lost playmate

And yet, you can’t just forget these loved ones even though you can’t hug them anymore. You have to figure out how to carry them with you, to feel their influence but not their weight.

Because your life, your responsibilities – none of that stops.

In fact, if you are like me, you probably forge ahead while creating more responsibilities for yourself. That’s the other half of the reason my year was so intense.

In 2013, I accomplished things I never expected to do.

I started a business.

I co-founded a non-profit organization that helps save dogs.

And through it all, most miraculously, I got to celebrate another round of holidays with my impossibly ancient and beloved elderpin Scooby.

miniature pinscher with Beer Paws koozie

Cheers to 2014. I don’t know what’s in store, but I’m ready for the new year. Are you?

Thanks for reading this blog, and being part of my life in 2013. The community of kind souls who follow this blog and related social media channels make every day better.

Kansas City Flashback Thursday with Scooby the Elderpin

Could there ever be too many pictures of Scooby the elderpin?

I think not. And I hope you agree.

Kansas City Flashback

Kansas City Flashback

In this week’s roundup of highlights from his 2013 adventures in modeling, I failed to include our most recent photo session.

Last Sunday, Scooby and I participated in Mosh Pit Kansas City‘s Posing for Pits Fundraiser. Local photo company Kansas City Flashback was taking holiday pet portraits, with 100% of proceeds benefiting pit bull rescue.

We got a few fun shots of Scooby alone, and some with his sweetheart (aka me).

Kansas City Flashback

Kansas City Flashback

You can check out the whole album on Facebook!

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