Category Archives: Dogtography

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.

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

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.

How I Got Named the Rescue Stork

When I asked Zach if I could bring Princess the chihuahua mix home for the night, that’s all I meant.

One night for me to get to know the pipsqueak better so that I could get some photos that would show the world how wonderful she is.

Princess collar

But we kinda fell in love with Princess.

And she kinda fell in love with Zach.

So at the end of night two, he gave her permission to come home with me every night until she was adopted. I did not protest.

As foster dogs go, Princess was a dream. After getting over some first night jitters, she settled in like she owned the place. Here favorite place to perch was Zach’s chest, and she was satisfied to cuddle there all evening. She preferred to sleep in her own bed at night. She didn’t yap when we put her in a kennel. And our dogs didn’t seem to mind having her around at all. In fact, the extra “competition” at dinnertime seemed to kick Scooby the elderpin’s appetite into high gear, which was just fine by me.

And my plan worked.

princess 1

Having Princess at our house naturally resulted in a flurry of adorable tiny dog posts on my Instagram and Facebook feeds.

Finally, my friend Katie, who had been intrigued by Princess since she first came into the Wayward Dog Foundation, couldn’t resist anymore. She had to meet the little dog.

So, I packed up Princess in a carrier three days before Christmas. It wasn’t hard to guess the final outcome…

Katie says when the rescue stork showed up, her little family became complete. You can read her take on it over at Pigtales Blog.

What’s Been Going On

I’ve been a bad blogger lately.

Overstacking my plate is a natural tendency of mine that reached new levels in the past few months.

But I don’t want to whine about my self-inflicted busy daze. I want to share some things I haven’t had time to write about. This could take a few days.

Let’s be honest.

After Charlie Machete, I wasn’t sure if we’d ever foster a dog again at Wayward House. Too much emotion and self-doubt surrounded the whole concept. What if we didn’t pay enough attention to our own aging forever dogs? What if we got too attached? What if we failed another dog?

I’m not kidding here. This stuff is heavy.

But I am so tied into the rescue community and have such a heart for dogs that I could not help myself from helping.

The opportunity to contribute to animal rescue was most definitely a motivating factor in the establishment of my business Beer Paws, which gives back a portion of all sales to the cause.

So was the creation of the Wayward Dog Foundation a few months later.

WD logo

Yet from spring to December, I only ever brought one adoptable home for the night.

That was Razzy, on the night before he was adopted.

long-haired dachshund

Through the rest of the summer and fall, I kept helping. I raised money. I networked.

Then, in November, I technically had a foster dog again.

He was black.

His name was Charlie.

He never made it to my house.

Charlie the poodle

Charlie the miniature poodle went straight from KC Pet Project to boarding at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, as a guest of the Wayward Dog Foundation.

He barely lasted a week before bewitching my friend, Kennel Creek owner and Foundation co-founder Chris Sailors. (I think PJ Ruth of MOSH Pit KC must have somehow known that would happen when she called me about the poodle she encountered mid-surrender in the shelter lobby.)

Although a far cry from the challenge we faced before, this rescue win – and the successful rehoming of Foundation dogs Buckshot, Penny and Razzy – emboldened me.

So, a few weeks later I got real brave.

I told Zach I wanted to bring a Wayward Dog Foundation adoptable home “just for the night.”

You will never believe what happened next (unless you follow me on Instagram or Facebook and have already seen the evidence).

Come back tomorrow for the full story.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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