October 29, 2008

little pies

Sweet Potato & Chicken flavored Secret Squirrels

I'm excited to introduce everyone to an Etsy seller I discovered recently - Little Pies. "Pies" is the Polish word for dog and it's pronounced like "peas." All of their cookies are made with certified organic ingredients, and never contain butter, animal by-products, salt or added sugars. And all ingredients are listed online. And I really like that they have unique flavors and concepts. I'll be stuffing my puppies' stockings with all of these this Christmas.

Above, L to R: How You Like Them Apples? treats, Tiny Turkey treats, and Plummy Tummy treats (packed full of ginger for upset tummies!)

Mint Mojito treats for nice breath!

October 28, 2008

halloween safety tips for dogs

As Halloween approaches, it's important to remember some safety tips for our pups. Below are some good pointers courtesy of Dogster:

* Don’t leave your dog outside. Even if you have a fenced yard, bring your dog inside where it is safe. If your dog is usually kept outside, bring him in a few times before the big night to get him used to being indoors. Your dog may be used to strangers, but so many little ghouls and goblins running about may be too much. Remember also that it is a natural instinct for dogs to protect the family from strangers, and on Halloween there will be no shortage of strangers.

* Keep your dog restrained. If your dog is timid or scared, or if he tends to love people a little too much, it is best to put him in a separate room away from the front door to limit his excitability, aggression, and chance of running outside and becoming lost.

* Reassure your dog. The best thing you can do for your dog when he is feeling unsettled by Halloween activities is to act as you normally would. By over-reassuring your dog or giving him an unusual amount of attention, you inadvertently can communicate to him that because you are acting differently, there must be something to worry about.

* Have your dog get used to costumes. Your dog may see his family members as strangers once they don their Halloween costumes. Before the kids put them on, allow your dog to scent the costumes. If your costume has a mask, keep the mask off when you are with your dog because dogs can become confused when they can’t see our faces.

* Check your dog’s ID tag. Be sure identification tags are secure on your dog’s collar-just in case.

* Keep candy away from your dog. Many candies-especially chocolate-are toxic to dogs. The severity of the toxicity depends greatly on factors such as breed, age, size, and how much candy was ingested. Problems may range from a mild upset tummy to vomiting and diarrhea, or even death. If you have any concerns at all, consult with a veterinarian immediately. If you want to keep your dog safe, make certain that sweets, including their wrappers, are kept well away from your dog.

* Protect dogs from candles and pumpkins. Excited or agitated dogs can easily knock over a lit candle or pumpkin. Be sure those items are away from your dog’s reach, or consider a battery-powered candle that does not burn.

* Think twice about dressing your dog in a costume. While some dogs might enjoy being dressed up, many don’t. Experiment first to see if your dog likes being in a costume. If so, fine-he’ll most likely enjoy himself and the extra attention it brings. However, if he shows any resistance, don’t do it. Dogs feel enough stress around Halloween without also having to endure the discomfort and peculiarity of wearing a strange costume.

* Be prepared. If you take your dog with you while trick-or-treating, be prepared at all times. Do not let your dog approach the door of a house, and stay clear of possible gags or gangs of goblins who will gather at the door. Dogs do not understand that the person jumping out at you will not hurt you; they often think they can only help you by acting aggressively. Neither children nor adults in costumes should approach a dog without the owner’s consent.

* Have fun but think of your dog’s safety. Finally, if you want your dog to be included in Halloween festivities, think about his safety much as you would the safety of a small child. Your dog does not understand Halloween, so he needs you to provide the guidance and safety that you always do.

October 27, 2008

this one's for the boys...

So, you've asked for them and here they are... my two new snap-on collars for boys! These two styles are just the beginning - I'll be rolling out a couple more in the next week or so. The fire hydrant is my absolute favorite...

And the fabric on the puppy paw collar (brown/orange/blue/green) is super cute. I do realize that the orange paw, although not intended to be a tiger paw, does look a lot like one in the orange color. So if anyone out there likes the paw collar, but doesn't want orange, just let me know. I can do it in pretty much any color you want.

They'll be up for sale in my shop by this afternoon.

October 26, 2008

fun news

I'll be posting some fun pictures tomorrow morning of my new projects... but in the meantime, here's a clue below. Stay tuned!

What are little boys made of?

Frogs and snails and puppy dog tails

That's what little boys are made of...

October 24, 2008

so... i'm back

Sorry for my hiatus this week... I am participating in an art show that kicked off last night, so I've been spending every spare moment this week working on collars. Above is a picture of my little table at the show.

Heather LaHaise was another local artist participating in the show. I had seen her work before and was totally impressed, but after being surrounded by it last night, I was seriously in love. She is truly able to capture that special something about each dog that makes them unique. You can learn more about her here. And check out some of her work below:

The piece above was my absolute favorite!

October 17, 2008

pecan pie... kittens?

So I'm typically a dog rescuer... I only have one cat at home, Scarlett, that I've had about seven years. But when a good friend of mine told me she was ready for another kitten, I told her I would rescue one for her from the euthanize list at a local shelter.

It had been a while since I'd been around a tiny kitten... and this little bundle of orange fur was too adorable. She's seven weeks old, and was found in a Food Lion grocery parking lot.

She now resides in Columbia with my friend (who, incidentally, also adopted Amos, one of my rescue puppies). Please excuse the poor quality photos. The little furball wouldn't be still!

October 16, 2008

just a pretty picture

Not much of a post today... I've got to head out early to go pick up a rescue - look for pictures tomorrow! But wanted to pass along this delightful picture of Lena Corwin's wedding via Absolutely Beautiful Things.

October 15, 2008

dogs & kids

There are some really cute new dog-based kids items that I've discovered lately... and the two stores that really have a great selection are Pottery Barn Kids and J. Crew's Crewcuts.

Forget kids... These sheets are so cute - I want them for MY bed.

And all the J. Crew items below are just a small sampling of what's available through their store. Just go to Crewcuts online and search for "dog" and you'll find all kinds of cute "doggie-inspired" clothing.

October 14, 2008

a soldier comes home to four-legged love

After 14 months in Iraq, a soldier returns home to be greeted by his dogs in perfect fashion:

I first saw this on BARK magazine's blog... this just made my morning.

mascot dog sweaters

Mascot has debuted their new line of fall and winter sweaters for dogs... and they're super cute. I especially love the rugby stripe and fire hydrant varieties.

I know I've said this before, but I'll reiterate it here. Before you think I'm crazy for putting clothing on my dogs, let it be known that Mona Mae is the only dog in my household that wears anything. And she only gets to wear sweaters and coats when it's COLD (which happens about 3 days a year here in South Carolina). But I still love cute dog sweaters... and since I can't really stand looking at fall clothing right now because it's 80 degrees, I'll get my fido fashion fix instead.

October 10, 2008

harry barker beds

As you can probably tell from my logo (and past features), I'm a sucker for a good silhouette... I love cameos and pretty much anything even slightly silhouette-ish (in fact, I'm working on a cameo brooch collar right now). So when I saw these positively, absolutely adorable dog beds from Harry Barker, it was love at first sight. I'm pretty sure I've found the pups' Christmas present for this year.

And Harry Barker doesn't just have cute dog beds. They have cute... everything. In addition to the awesome hemp stripe and toile beds above, they also have great toys, grooming aids, collars, etc. So check 'em out if you get a chance.

October 9, 2008

political puppies

As soon as I stumbled upon these new toys from Fat Cat, Inc... I knew they were going on the blog. It feels like everyone is in campaign mode these days, so why should the pups feel left out? Buy your favorite canine this set of Political Animals and you can let them chew on your favorite candidate (or your least favorite... I'll leave that up to you). So fun!


Sweet Oliver is my approximately 5-year-old dalmation mix. I discovered him at 6 months of age after he and his sister had been dumped off a country road. He and Lucy (his sister) were filthy, freezing cold, wet and hungry. Ollie, because of his pink ears and eye rims, was severely sunburned as well.

I took them both home (Lucy eventually went to live with another family) and because they were so filthy, I left them on the deck until I could go inside to get some towels. By the time I came back out, Oliver had crawled into a big flower pot and gone to sleep. That was enough for me... right then and there I decided he was staying with me.

It didn't take long to figure out Ollie was deaf. He would sleep through loud noises, and I learned that he wouldn't respond when I called him. Adopting a deaf dog has definitely been a learning experience, but it has been a rewarding one as well. He has learned all of his commands through hand signals, and he relies on the other dogs in the house for cues.

Oliver is a beautiful dog, and out of all my dogs, is the supreme snuggler. Wherever we go, we always get compliments and questions because he is so unique. And the uniqueness isn't only on the outside. I don't know whether it's because he can't hear, but Oliver is... different. He's quirky, a little odd and just basically off-beat. My neighbor has affectionately dubbed him "Oliver Twisted." But no matter just how different he may be, he is incredibly important to me and I can't imagine not having him in my life.

In fact, I'm so proud of him that I submitted his photo and story to The State newspaper last year in their "Best in Show" contest... and he won! He was featured on the front page several days and you can see the full story above. There's even a video where you can watch me make a fool of myself... but at least Ollie looks cute!

dogs rule day

This Saturday, October 11th is Dogs Rule Day... sponsored by Pedigree.

Learn more at www.dogsruleday.com and find out about 101 ways to celebrate the day.

October 8, 2008

cookie moon dog wash

I discovered this super cool Cookie Moon Doggie Wash today via Mimi Green's blog. Their handmade products are created using 100% vegan, natural and organic ingredients. They use decyl polyglucose as the soaping agent, a very mild, gentle cleanser that is perfect for pups with sensitive skin. The packaging is recycleable (BONUS) and they try to reuse packing materials when shipping.

So that's enough about the healthy, good for your dog information... now moving on to what I must confess actually caught my eye - the FLAVORS (or smells... or varieties... whatever). You can choose from Mint & Chip Cookie, S'more Graham Cracker, Strawberry Shortbread, Sugar Sugar Cookie, and Lemon Drop Cookie. Yes, please... I would like my dog to smell like a sugar cookie.

You can find Cookie Moon products on their Etsy site, or find a much larger selection at Mimi Green online.

October 7, 2008

pancreatitis in dogs

So we had a scary few days in the Dawkins household this past weekend. Quincy became very ill in the wee hours of Saturday morning... vomiting, losing control of his bladder, chills, lethargy, etc. The sweet guy wasn't able to even keep water down, and I was really worried that he would become dehydrated. Then around 6am I realized that he felt cold... looked at his gums and they were completely white - and I knew this was more than just eating something he shouldn't have.

I piled him into the car (he was too weak to jump by this point) and raced to the vet. They immediately started running tests, and so I sat and waited for what felt like the longest 30 minutes of my life. But the tests finally revealed a diagnosis - acute pancreatitis. With an acute version of pancreatitis, the pancreas becomes severely inflamed, causing leakage of the digestive enzymes whereby the pancreas literally starts to "digest itself". And according to his bloodwork, it was now compromising other internal organs like his kidneys.

The vet at Shandon-Wood Animal Clinic, Dr. Maloney, immediately took him back and started him on an IV to combat his dehydration and to flush his system. I had to leave him there for the weekend (talk about ripping your heart out) so that he could remain on an IV and be monitored by the staff there. We had never seen Dr. Maloney before, but she was great... quick diagnosis, great bedside manner and I received phone call updates twice a day.

Quincy came home yesterday after making a remarkable turnaround over the weekend. He is not 100% yet, but he's back to his old self, and I'm incredibly relieved. We're not sure at this point what caused this... he's relatively young to have been diagnosed with pancreatitis. But at least he's now on the road to recovery. With a few more days rest and special food, he should be as good as new.

You can find more information on pancreatitis here...

beef barley stew

Couldn't resist this recipe... it's from The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs via BARK Magazine. The dogs will love it, and I love the book's cover art.

Beef Barley Stew
From The Good Food Cookbook for Dogs by Donna Twichell Roberts, published by Quarry Books

2 quarts water, divided
1 cup barley
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb. ground beef (or 1 lb. boneless beef, cut into bite-sized pieces)
1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes in juice
1 quart beef broth
4 potatoes, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 cup macaroni (uncooked)
1 small head cabbage, quartered and thinly sliced


  1. Bring 2 1/2 cups water to boil over high heat in a 3-quart saucepan. Add barley, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 45 to 50 minutes until all water has been absorbed. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in an 8-quart stockpot over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook, stirring frequently, until meat is brown, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes with juice, remaining 5 1/2 cups water and beef broth. Bring to boil over high heat.
  4. Add potatoes and carrots. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  5. Add macaroni and cook, stirring frequently, for an additional 10 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in cabbage and cooked barley.
  7. Makes 8 quarts. Recipe may be doubled.

October 2, 2008

artistic evening to benefit animal rescue

Just wanted to let everyone know that there will be a really cool art show going on October 23-25 in Charlotte, NC at the Siskate Gallery. I'll have some collars on display, but there will be much more talented individuals participating as well... there will be photography, paintings and handblown glass bead jewelry.

If you're in Charlotte, please make plans to check us out. Thursday, Oct. 23rd will be the opening night and should be lots of fun. And if you're not in Charlotte but have friends that are, please forward this info along to them... the more the merrier! If you'd like more info, just email me...

howloween round-up

Well, it's officially October... which means that Halloween is just around the corner. I'm not a huge fan of the holiday so I'm pretty picky when it comes to spooky items made just for Halloween, but I've put together a few puppy-related Halloween items that are pretty awesome. [Puppy Pumpkin Costume above is from Trixie and Peanut]

Cute Halloween greeting card featuring a devilish chocolate lab from Blomma...

A super stylish military jacket from Barker & Meowsky...

Polka dot bandana from Posh Puppies that could be worn year-round...

And in the event that you want your kid to dress up like a dog, check out this cutie pie costume from Celebrate Express.

But of course, I can't forget my own collar... now remember, I don't care for Halloween and all that garish orange and black. So I went a different direction with this orange and light turquoise fabric collar. Pretty cute, no? It's not available in my store yet, but if you're interested, just email me for more info.