Category Archives: Scooby

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.

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.


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!

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.

A Jolly Old “Elf”-erpin

Every year around this time, a certain old guy puts on his red suit at least once.

Scooby the elderpin elferpin emerged in all his white-faced glory for the first time last weekend.

He got all dressed up in his Santa suit – and other outfits – for a photo session with our mustachioed friend Jacob Meyer of New Friends Photography & Design.

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

Photo by New Friends Photography & Design

These are just a few of our favorite photos from the session. Which one do you like best?

You can view the whole photo collection on the Beer Paws Facebook page.

While you are there, be sure to give the page a Like. If Beer Paws reaches 1,000 Likes by December 31, I will give an extra $100 to KC Pet Project!

The Elderpin’s Adventure (or How the Dog Ruined Date Night)

Dinner at Chuy's RestaurantEven though it was a Monday, Zach and I hit the town last night to try a new restaurant.

Dinner at Chuy’s, a diner that serves authentic Tex Mex cuisine, was awesome.

There was even one margarita involved.

But round about the time our delicious Tres Leches dessert showed up, a photo message flashed onto my phone and my heart sank.


Along with the photo came these terrifying words:

“I have your doggie! Found him in the road.”

The message, thank goodness, came from a neighbor who knew Scooby when she saw him.

Apparently, on her way home last night, she encountered my elderpin-in-a-sweater hobbling across the often busy street just to the south of our house.

Luckily, at that time, there was no traffic. And my neighbor says she parked her car in such a way that would have blocked any other vehicles while she was catching him.

From her description, it sounds like Scooby was moving in the direction we had driven. But I don’t think he knew that. I think he was just walking toward the brightest light, a streetlight on the corner. Since his vision is failing, that’s what he tends to do now in all situations.

My neighbor found our back gate open and Luke still safe and warm in the house. Because the house was locked, she took Scooby home with her until we could come get him. Thank the universe she was there!

How did this happen?

The explanation of how my ancient miniature pinscher escaped the house on an extremely cold night is a combination of having an electronic doggy door and a faulty gate latch.

Sometime shortly after we left, Scooby must have used the doggy door to go outside and pawed the back gate.

For the past few days, that gate has been acting weird. However, the problem had been quite the opposite – it was jamming closed.

When we left for Chuy’s, I remember pulling it shut gently in the hopes of not getting locked out. I thought it had latched, but clearly it hadn’t. The gate is being fixed today.

Scooby will also be getting a new ID tag today. After years of not wearing a collar, he only recently started again, and he doesn’t have a current tag. Again – I am so fortunate his finder last night already knew him.

Yes, I feel like a terrible dog mom right now.

But I am so relieved the outcome of the elderpin’s escape wasn’t worse.

In fact, for the rest of last night, he seemed to be in quite high spirits – as if he were proud of himself for going on a 1-block adventure all by himself. I told him next time, he should at least put on his warm Santa suit.

miniature pinscher dog santa suit

Has your dog ever escaped? Share your story in the comments!

If you are in the Kansas City area, please also enter this giveaway for a chance to eat dinner where Zach and I did last night. I’ll tell you more about that experience tomorrow.

Chuy's Logo clean - red

Chuy’s originally started in 1982 in Austin, Texas. Through their eclectic restaurants and delicious Tex-Mex food their popularity has grown and Chuy’s recently opened their doors to a new Kansas City location on the Plaza. Good food is their #1 priority, and you can taste it with their hand rolled tortillas and freshly made salsa. Chuy’s offers several signature dishes such as the “Chuychanga”, their Chile Rellenos as well as signature sauces ranging in spiciness from mild to hot! (yes they added an exclamation point!). You can follow along with all the Chuy’s Kansas City fun on their Facebook page.

Chuy’s is wanting to help spread the word of their new Kansas City location by offering 5 readers the chance to win a “Dinner for Two” gift card valued at $30 which includes an appetizer, two entrees, a dessert and non-alcoholic drinks for two! Several local bloggers have teamed up to bring you this fantastic giveaway.

This giveaway will run from December 10 through December 16. Please enter if you live around the Kansas City area and are able to visit, or if you have family or friends you could gift the prize to. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Participating bloggers are not responsible for prize fulfillment. Winner(s) will be verified, emailed and have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.

Putting Your Dog in a Pooch Pouch

Outward Hound Pooch Pounc

Have you ever put your dog in a pooch pouch?

I used to carry Scooby in over-the-shoulder, purse-style carriers.

We did that to the point that he still sometimes tries to hop in purses left open on the floor.

Over the past few years, though, Scooby has mostly traveled on leash or under my arm.

However, in the span of one recent week, he received two of the same Outward Hound Pet-a-Roo carriers from friends.

I call them pooch pouches because they are backpacks you wear in the front, and your dog sticks out of the little pouch.

Outward Hound Pet-a-Roo pooch pouch navy

The Pet-a-Roos we got are identical except in color.

One is black, one is blue.

I’m not an ace at adjusting straps on products like this, so I waited to try out the pouches until Zach was home and could properly fit them to me. There are a lot of straps.

You have two adjustable shoulder straps, plus one strap that threads through those and goes around your waist. There is also an optional strap you can clip to your dog’s collar or harness.

Other than that, the only way to secure him into the pouch is by tightening the mesh top of the pouch – you just pull the strings and tighten like you would a cinch style bag.

Outward Hound Pet-a-Roo

Note to self: Don’t wear a shirt with a drape-y neck during a pooch pouch photo session.

The idea is for these pooch pouches to make the person able to have their little pet close without tying up your hands.

While I wouldn’t put enough faith in that cinch-to-secure mechanism to actually bend over without a hand on Scooby, I can see how the Pet-a-Roo would make walks with Scooby more ergonomic for me once he hits the point of tired feet.

From his perspective, though, I think the Pet-a-Roo could have an ergonomic improvement.

The base of the bag, on which the dog perches is not as wide as my body. It makes a great seating pad, but the design does not allow for a dog Scooby’s size to lay down.

Outward Hound Pet-a-Roo

From experience with an improvised knap sack-turned-pooch pouch, I know that while Scooby enjoys sniffing the air (and seeing as much as his cataract-filled eyes will permit), there comes a time on every walk, when he would rather duck down and snooze. This is especially true in cold weather.

With that said, my evaluation of the Pet-a-Roo is this. It’s a novel item that I would consider taking on warm weather walks with KC Pittie Pack, as an alternative to holding Scooby under my arm when he wears out. In these cases, the Pet-a-Roo would actually be far preferable to his wool knapsack. Also, the front-carry design is more comfortable for me than over-the-shoulder messenger-style pet carrier.

Big thanks to my friends Kathy and Heather who gave us the Pet-a-Roos!

Now, if I can figure out how to convert one into a secure doggy seat for the car, we will really be in business!

How do you carry your pet around when he or she doesn’t walk?

If you haven’t already, go enter my #DiamondNaturals grain-free kibble giveaway!


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