Blog Archives

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

Daisy is an Adoptable Wayward Dog

Sweet baby Daisy is a little hound puppy who was found sopping wet and alone in a Petsmart parking lot.

beagle puppy

She was wearing no collar, had no microchip and no one in the store recognized her.

Following attempts to find anyone who may be missing her, Daisy was taken in by the Wayward Dog Foundation.

beagle puppy

She is a good-tempered girl, approximately three months old, and she is going to make someone a wonderful pet.

beagle puppy

Please share Daisy’s story with your network, especially if you are in the Kansas City area. Anyone interested in adopting Daisy should contact Kennel Creek Pet Resort to arrange a time to meet her.

Help Me Help My New Foster Dog

Blind Willie Christmas Tree

My new foster dog only has one eye.

It doesn’t work.

In fact, Blind Willie’s big, old, useless eye will have to be removed very soon, and Wayward Dog Foundation is currently raising funds to help cover the surgery.

Eye trouble is one of the health issues common in Jack Russell terriers. Although I do not know Blind Willie’s entire history, I do know he has been seeing impaired for most, if not all, of his life.

willie and scooby

For this resilient and tenacious little terrier, though, his disability isn’t that big of a hurdle.

In fact, the 8-to-10-year-old dog gets around a heck of a lot better than Scooby the elderpin. Willie can go up and down stairs; he can hop on and off of furniture and he can use the electronic doggy door – all without help from people.

willie and luke

Little Willie also knows how to sit and speak for a treat. He’s a pretty good snuggler and content to rest for most of the day.

But at some point every evening he gets a burst of energy. During these periods, he’s a force to be reckoned with – if you are a Kong toy or a vacuum cleaner.

jack russell terrier blind

Willie has been in rescue for a few months, since he was surrendered by his former owners to the Wayward Dog Foundation.

After one failed out-of-state adoption, we are hoping to place Willie somewhere in the Kansas City area. He really does need a special home and a family who will be patient with him but who will also treat him like a regular dog.

Before Willie can be adopted, however, he does need to have his remaining eye removed. It is ulcerated and over time will cause Willie increasing discomfort. The sooner we can remove it, the better.

Buy Biscuits for Willie

One of the ways that I am helping to raise these funds is through the sale of Beer Paws Beer Biscuits.

beer paws package

Until the funds are raised, $1 from every 6-oz bag and $2 from every 12-oz bag of biscuits sold will be donated to Willie’s fund.

Click here to place your biscuit order.

Note: A portion of sales from all other Beer Paws products sold in February will be donated to the Beer Paws rescue partner of the month Paws Up Rescue of Nebraska.

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.

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.

Lady Esther: The Cat that Was Not a Cat

woman in holiday poinsettia sweater

Last night I met a remarkable woman at a downtown Christmas party in Kansas City.

Her name is Betty.

She has always lived in Kansas City. When she was a young girl, she lived on Country Club Plaza.

She really wanted a pet cat. However, her mother did not like cats. So her father brought Betty the next best thing.

A pet skunk.

vintage photo of girl with pet skunk

Lady Esther’s scent glands had been removed, but she was still named for the perfume Betty’s mother wore and that her father didn’t like.

When Betty put a harness on Lady Esther and walked her around the neighborhood, people crossed the street to avoid them.

“She walked with her tail straight up!” Betty says.

When she wasn’t walking or cuddling with Betty, Lady Esther lived in their use. She used a litter box.

“She was just like a cat,” Betty says.

When Betty went to college, Lady Esther was given to a man who ran a barbecue restaurant. Unfortunately, Betty says Lady Esther must have eaten too much barbecue, for she didn’t live long after that.

After college, Betty went on to do work at a local nature center, helping orphaned squirrels and other creatures get strong enough to go back out in the wild. She also spent many years serving lunch to students in a Parkville, Missouri, cafeteria.

Sometimes she runs into them, when she’s out hunting hedge apples for craft projects.

Thanks for the lovely conversation, Betty! I wish you a very happy holiday season!

Readers: What’s the most unusual pet you have ever had or encountered?


The Tex Mex Diner with Chihuahuas on the Wall [Sponsored Post] #ChuysKansasCity

For a dog lover, it’s hard to enter a Mexican restaurant without thinking of Chihuahuas.

The little dogs are synonymous with the country and, thanks to Taco Bell, also linked strongly to Tex Mex cuisine.

On Monday night, I visited a much better Tex Mex chain. Chuy’s Restaurant recently arrived on Country Club Plaza, right in the heart of Kansas City.

Chuy's Logo clean - red

The coming of Chuy’s was a big deal for my friend Megan. She went to school in Texas and during KC Pittie Pack walks I have heard her speak with much love about the drinks and the salsa and the overall experience of Chuy’s.

Listening to her talk, I think I always pictured a vaguely run-down, “authentic,” sit-down Mexican eatery. I had no idea.

Chuy’s is more like a quintessential 1950′s diner on Mexican acid. Seriously – eating at this place is a real trip.

At the Kansas City location, the walls of the entryway are plastered in old-fashioned cameras. Hundreds of them are glued to the wall.

From there, every area of the expansive dining area has a theme. There’s a palm tree room. There’s a hot rod room, where Zach and I sat. The ceiling is covered in hubcaps.

palm trees

And there is even an area devoted to dogs. Chihuahuas get their own wall.

Dog Decor

So do the dogs of the people who work there.

Dog Pictures

There is so much color and so much to look at that simply being at Chuy’s is an experience.

For that reason, I didn’t have high expectations for the food. But everything was honestly delicious.

We tasted a whole platter of different homemade salsas. I was impressed by the heat of even the pico de gallo that comes standard with every bowl of homemade chips.


We had a “Perfect Margarita” and a Texas Martini – both made strong enough that one was plenty.

Texas Martini

For the main course, I ordered the Veggie Combination. The chile relleno was hands down the best I’ve ever eaten. The breading was crispy, the pepper was spicy and the cheese wasn’t greasy. On the other side of the plate, my enchilada was filled with actual vegetables, like squash and red pepper.

Veggie combination

Don’t get me wrong, this was not a healthy meal. But it was good.

We ordered dessert, too, but I only got a few melt-in-your-mouth bites of the Tres Leches cake. By then, we’d received word that an elderpin had escaped our home and gotten picked up by our neighbor.

Tres Leches

Maybe Scooby somehow knew when we left that we were headed for a really tasty meal, and he just wanted to come along.

I received compensation in the form of a meal in exchange for my honest review of Chuy’s Restaurant. All opinions expressed here are my own.

Want to try Chuy’s Restaurant for yourself? Enter the giveaway!

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.

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.

Trader Joe’s Thanksgiving Treats And What Not to Feed Your Dog this Holiday

I guess I’m a sucker for marketing.

The Trader Joe’s seasonal dog biscuit offering got me again. I picked up this box of turkey and cranberry dog treats a couple weeks ago.

Trader Joes Thanksgiving dog biscuits

There is no pit bull on the box this time, but there are a lot of other dogs.

My favorite part of the Thanksgiving-themed packaging is the clever way it incorporates the actual size of the turkey leg-shaped biscuits into the image.

Trader Joe's dog biscuit

Once again, if wheat and soy are an issue for your dogs, Trader Joe’s biscuits may not be the way to treat your dog this holiday.

However, the overall ingredient list is short. Turkey comes first, and the hardest thing on the list to pronounce is the natural preservative – mixed tocopherols.

I have no problem feeding these to Luke, who loves them.

Luke turkey leg

Also, these festive biscuits are a much safer alternative for pets than many of the food likely to fill your table tomorrow if you are celebrating Thanksgiving in the U.S.

Here’s an infographic originally shared by Dogster that will help you remember what table scraps to your dog can and cannot have this holiday season.

what not to feed your dog at thanksgiving

Credit: Dogster

My pack and I will be enjoying family time, right here in Kansas City, at my mom’s house. If you are celebrating, what’s your plan?

You can come meet me at the following events this weekend:

Introducing: The People’s Princess

Yesterday, I asked you all to help me decide what to write about today. The pretty little Princess won by a hair!

Princess adoptable chihuahua mix

The first time I met this little peapod of Princess, I was shocked to discover she was not Scooby.

I had gotten into a car. In the backseat was a small kennel, and I could just see bits of a black and tan muzzle.

When I got close enough I realized this was no elderpin.

adoptable chi-weenie mix

Princess is a young thing – a Chihuahua mix, possibly Chiweenie.

She’s about a year old and came from a home where she did not receive the royal treatment.

That’s a pity, because what she really wants to do is be your cuddle buddy. When she isn’t doing that, she likes to explore. At just about 5 pounds, she also happens to be so tiny, she’d fit perfectly in a pooch pouch, a pet accessory I plan to write about tomorrow.

Princess is currently staying at Kennel Creek Pet Resort, hoping to meet her new family any day.

Princess explorePrincess paw Princess looking

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Princess, check out Kennel Creek’s adoptables page.

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