Even 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.
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 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!
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 food and treat market for pets is trending away from products made overseas and toward boutique brands made, right here in the United States.
It’s an exciting time, with many creative recipes being rolled out.
Lincoln Bark is a new company based in Chicago that makes cat and dog treats in small batches, by hand. The products contain no wheat, soy, corn, preservatives or additives. But the dog treats do contain an unusual ingredient – Chia.
Chia is a plant in the mint family. It is the same plant that sprouts on Chia Pets.
In human health food circles, Chia seeds have been quite in vogue over the past few years.
That’s because a lot of folks consider Chia to be a superfood. Health guru Dr. Andrew Weil says Chia seeds are rich in antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, other vitamins and are a source of fiber.
Apparently, savvy farmers have already begun adding Chia seeds to chicken feed to boost the omega-3 levels in eggs. In foods for people, I have seen Chia advertised in baked goods, energy bars and even kombucha.
Although Dogs Naturally magazine recommends adding Chia to your dog’s diet, Lincoln Bark represents the first time I have noticed the seeds touted specifically in a pet product.
A PDF on the Lincoln Bark’s website lists a range of good things associate with Chia, including improved digestion, better joint function and mobility and better cardiovascular health.
While I can’t speak to the validity of those claims, I can say that my dogs Luke and Scooby the elderpin have very much enjoyed their Chia-powered Sweet Little Butterpup™ and Treat Smart™ snacks from Lincoln Bark over the past few weeks.
The Sweet Little Butterpup are small, round baked treats, about the size of a dime. They come in a variety of flavors, including Chicken Liver, Salmon, Oatmeal and Pumpkin.
The Treat Smart treats are about the same size, but more square and chewy. These come in Chicken Liver, Salmon, Roasted Peanut and Duck & Pea varieties. I have been especially impressed by Treat Smart because it is something savory and easy for the elderpin to chew.
In fact, a few weeks ago, when Scooby was having digestive issues and refusing food, the first thing I was able to get him to eat was Treat Smart. From that day on, I have fed him one or two Treat Smart snacks each night.
While I can’t conclusively link his good health streak directly to the treats, I can say that he has no issues digesting them. That is something I cannot say for all foods at this point in his life.
Lincoln Bark treats are definitely a hit with my pack.
If you want to try them out for your dogs, check out LincolnBark.com.
Have you or your pets ever eaten Chia?
This post is sponsored by Lincoln Bark. I received treats for my pets to sample in exchange for helping spread the word about Lincoln Bark. WaywardDogs.com only shares information we feel is relevant to our readers, and this post reflects my honest opinion. Lincoln Bark is not responsible for the content of this article.
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.
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.
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.
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?
And if your name is Scooby the elderpin, accidents happen a lot.
I’ve written about the elderpin’s incontinence before. His piddles are half old body problems and half stubbornness problem.
Proof of stubbornness: Our electronic Plexidor doggy door has helped us somewhat in our battle against yellow puddles. But the elderpin seems to more enjoy exiting through a people door and coming back inside through the doggy door. (Luke follows an opposite pattern.)
Recently, I’ve attempted to counteract Scooby’s old body problems with a product that is supposed to contribute to better urinary tract health.
Tinkle Tonic by Animals’ Apawthecary is a liquid mixture of herbal extracts that can be used on dogs and cats. It contains couchgrass root, dandelion root and leaf, echinacea, horsetail and marshmallow root.
The bottle comes with a medicine topper. I have been drizzling the elderpin’s breakfast and dinner with Tinkle Tonic for a couple weeks now. While it’s no miracle cure, and many factors contribute to the little dog’s overall health, I feel like he’s having fewer accidents. The Tinkle Tonic definitely is not having a negative impact on him, anyway.
This late in the game, the best I can do is manage Scooby’s issue. I pay attention to his subtle signs that a pee is coming on:
- Just waking up from a nap, elderpin? Outside you go!
- Are you hanging around the door, nose to the ground? Out you go!
- Did you just slink off into a different room? Out you go, if I catch you in time!
What signs does your dog give you when it’s time to go outside?
If you haven’t already, be sure to check out yesterday’s post and enter to win a big bag of Diamond Naturals Grain-Free kibble and more!
As a toy breed, Scooby the elderpin is not classified as a working type of dog.
But he has almost always had a job.
In fact, he’s worked in a wide variety of industries. You might call the old miniature pinscher a pup of all trades.
Here are a few of the things Scooby the elderpin could put on a resume.
Security Guard (2006-2007)
Back when he worked in a screen printing office, Scooby performed the very important task of guarding the office, including the proprietors’ stash of potato chips. OK, maybe he stole some lunches, but that was his way of showing everyone that he was a tough guy who meant business. And you can bet he made a big point of demonstrating his intimidation power to delivery guys.
As the most prominent canine in a newsroom, Scooby fulfilled a variety of duties. Perhaps most importantly, he comforted young journalists who had stayed out too late the night before chasing down stories.
Home Office Assistant (2009-2012)
This position, which Scooby performed from the comfort of his own home, was not unlike his role as a security guard. He made sure to alert all members of Reliant Media Systems of the arrival of any delivery personnel. He also ensured that the facility’s carpets were regularly cleaned – by giving the business owner a reason to clean up. (Can you guess what that was?)
Product Tester & Professional Model (2011-present)
As my constant companion, Scooby is not only expected to bring joy to my life. He has to earn his keep! Scooby is an eager worker when it comes to trying out the treats, food, clothes and general pet supplies we review here at WaywardDogs.com. He is also a photogenic model for other companies, including my brand Beer Paws.
Pet Resort Greeter (Present)
Scooby goes to daycare at Kennel Creek Pet Resort nearly every day. And he is such an eager beaver that he recently offered to assist the staff at the front desk. From his perch on the counter, he monitors the phone, helps check in guests and keeps the employees company between tasks. He has been caught sleeping on the job, however.
Although I have told the elderpin that he is free to retire at any time, I think he will be one of those guys who always has a job.
Is there anything special on your pet’s resume? Share your story in the comments!
When you’ve been on the Earth as long as the elderpin, you’re kind of a dinosaur.
That’s all I could think about when I slipped him into a Halloween costume I got for cheap at an after-holiday sale.
Rather than transforming him into a dinosaur, though, the ensemble makes him look more like he has a dinosaur on his back.
That metaphor is quite apt.
Although on his best days, he’s still a little T-rex when it comes to food, age is catching up to my sweet Scooby dog. You can see it in his ever-whitening face, his slowed gait and his utter confusion anytime the lights are too low.
Cataracts are making the elderpin blind.
He runs into glass doors and mirrors. We had to put a gate across our back stairs last night because he doesn’t always realize they are there.
Rather than signs of the dinosaur taking him down, I’d like to the think of the gated stairs, the extra sweaters purchased because he’s cold all the time and my cheering him on at dinnertime just more ways I get to show my extreme affection for the little dog love of my life.
Also, I’m not so sure that costume is a dinosaur, anyway.
It looks more like a frog.
And that’s better.
Frogs are transformative creatures. They grow out of one body and into another, and they’re comfortable in two worlds – land and water. Which setting just depends on the season.
Yep, that’s a better metaphor.
November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month.
Luke and Scooby are taking a break from dressing up this year.
Technically, our photo is up for an award in a contest over on the Queen of Paws Facebook page.
We’d love your vote, but since we’re the only entrant in our category, I really want you to vote on another picture.
Former foster Minnie and her sister Pan are in the running for the title of Cutest Halloween Costumes. If they win, they’ll get an array of goodies from Queen of Paws – and affirmation that they are adorable girls in their outfits.
To help Minnie and Pan win, simply LIKE the photo album called Bow Wow Ween Costume Contest 2013 and then LIKE their photo.
Are your dogs dressing up this year? Let me know in the comments and feel free to post a picture on the Wayward Dogs Facebook page!
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?
Facebook friends and fans know by now that Scooby the elderpin was made famous yesterday.
A large photo of him standing on his tippy toes appears in the The Pitch newspaper’s annual Best of Kansas City issue, which hit news stands yesterday.
As you can imagine, the attention is going to his head. He likes to hang out near his photo spread and keeps demanding extra treats. Last night, the little prima donna tried to steal a steak bone from Luke.
I sure hope his little ego doesn’t get him into trouble with the other dogs when he goes to Kennel Creek Pet Resort for daycare.
I can just see him hustling some other dog’s girl out in the play yard. “Have you ever snuggled someone famous? Wanna go back to my private suite?”
At least I can say that on the night of the actual photo shoot, Scooby was a gentleman.
In fact, as the oldest gentleman at the studio, he got to be photographed first.
Camera man Chris Mullins and Pitch Art Director Ashford Stamper recognized the little old guy’s star quality as soon as he began dancing for snacks. (Dude got so excited over Beggin’ Strips he danced right off the prop box at one point.)
Because I had to help the elderpin pose, I don’t have any shots of him being shot. But I did snap a few images of the other cute pups in attendance that night.
Not all of the dogs who appear in the Best Of issue were part of our shoot.
Our friend and cover boy Dusty Rhodes was part of a previous session.
You can read more about him – and how he’s rocking my products – in yesterday’s post at BeerPaws.com.
If you live around Kansas City, I highly recommend picking up a copy of The Pitch’s Best Of issue.
In addition to the adorable photos, it is packed with great writing and is sure to turn you on to some new places and faces unique to the metro.
It’s worth looking into even if you aren’t from Kansas City. You can view it online.
And if you really want a hard copy, let me know. Maybe I can get Mr. Famous Elderpin to put his paw print on a copy that I can mail.
It was no surprise that as soon as photos of handsome little Razzy started floating around Facebook, inquiries came in from potential adopters.
One of the first people to show interest was a frequent client of Kennel Creek Pet Resort who wanted a friend for her rat terrier.
Because at that time we still needed to evaluate Razzy for his ability to get along with other dogs, Kennel Creek owner Chris Sailors told the gal he had another dog she should meet first.
We called him Buckshot.
He came with a sad story.
A super sweet, 9-pound min pin mix, Buckshot was picked up as a stray around my hometown of Beatrice, Nebraska. Of course, his little brown and red face caught my eye – even though the photo was terrible – as soon as I saw it posted on the Beatrice Humane Society‘s website.
When I got to the shelter, the volunteers told me Buckshot was fairly calm, great with other dogs and most interested in snuggling. They were thrilled that I might be able to take him to Kansas City along with Razzy for networking, but I couldn’t meet him right away.
Little Buckshot was getting neutered.
And as it turned out, the vet discovered something sad during the operation. There was steel shot embedded in the dog’s leg and back. Someone had shot him!
He was fine, and the vet removed what she found. But the whole thing was terrible to think about and only made me want even more to help Buckshot find a comfortable, loving forever home.
Luckily, that didn’t take long. The Kennel Creek client and her rat terrier both fell in love with Buckshot almost immediately.
He has a new name now – Hyde. And he spends all of his days playing with his new best friend Tanner.
Although I haven’t been able to get ahold of any better pictures of Buckshot/Hyde since his adoption, I did see the sister of his new mama at the recent Strutt with Your Mutt event. She said the little min pin couldn’t be happier.