December 22, 2009

dealing with disappointment

I've recently had to deal with some disappointments... particularly with my dogs. I work very hard to train them so that they are the best dogs they can be. And sometimes I forget that at the end of the day... they're dogs. And they'll make mistakes - some big, some small.

So I was really touched by the story of Ricochet. Take a look at the video below...

December 16, 2009

merry christmas to me...

I bought myself a Christmas present. I discovered this wonderful artist in New Orleans - Susan Woodard - who paints watercolors of children and pets, and I loved her style so much, I commissioned a portrait of my sweet Sully.

She was so easy to work with, and I received the painting about a week after I sent her the photo to work from. And on top of that, her pricing is unbelievably reasonable.

From photo to watercolor in just a week...

You can see more of her work here... and make sure to check out her portraits of children as well. They're absolutely adorable. If you're interested in ordering a watercolor for yourself, you can e-mail her here.

December 14, 2009

it's making the rounds

but it's so funny I couldn't resist...

December 3, 2009

a dog's life

A couple of my dogs already think they should be famous, so I think I'll stuff their stocking this year with these treats that have their pictures on them. A Dog's Life gives customers the opportunity to customize their packaging with their own dog's photo. They have lots of different varieties... some organic, some all-natural and one that's even grain-free.

And for your dog-loving & wine-loving friends (or yourself)... you can order a bottle of wine that features their pooch as well. Merry Christmas to me...

November 30, 2009

rifle paper company

I found these cheeky and adorable dog cards today at the Rifle Paper Company. A dog in rainboots? Excellent. I think I need these for all my after-Christmas thank you notes.

November 24, 2009

it takes two to tango...


Penny: Bring it on, new kid...

November 18, 2009

November 12, 2009


I realize I'm very late to the game on this... but once I missed it in theaters, I had to wait for it to come out on DVD. UP became available this week, and since I had a rainy day off from work yesterday, it was a perfect opportunity to finally watch it.

And let me say... it did not disappoint. It's a BEAUTIFUL movie, with a very touching storyline, lots of humor and it provides a fantastic portrayal of dogs.

When the movie originally came out, I had read an article in The BARK magazine that looked at the movie from a "dog perspective." From that, I learned that Pixar had consulted Dr. Ian Dunbar - he's pretty much a rock star in the animal behavior and training community - to make sure that their portrayal of the dogs in the film was as accurate as possible.

Dug wearing the "Cone of Shame"

That was all I needed to hear. And the movie definitely lived up to my expectations. Dug - the Golden Retriever/Lab mix that is the main dog character - was perfect. From his body language to his actual speech and speech patterns... it was so on point that you could almost forget that dogs don't usually have the ability to communicate with speech.

I got the DVD through Netflix, but I'm planning to go buy the 2-disk deluxe edition that includes a short film featuring Dug called "Dug's Special Mission" and a documentary called "Canine Companions" that showcases the amount of study that went into crafting the dogs in the film. There are interviews with Dr. Dunbar and footage of lectures he gave the Pixar animation crew about dog psychology.

If you haven't seen it... you're missing out. Any dog lover will want to watch it again and again.

November 9, 2009

guess what I found in my backyard?

And then somehow... it ended up here:

(please forgive the picture quality. Camera phone + 6 AM = bad picture)

November 3, 2009

the perfect gift

As we begin creeping closer and closer to the holiday season, we'll all be searching for the perfect gift for those special people in our lives. I think I might have found it.

These custom "pet doodles" from LMNOPrint are so cute and quirky, AND they're a great price.

All you need to do is email her photographs of your pet along with your (or your friend's) pet’s name and breed. She also asks to know about any unique markings, and asks you to describe your pet’s personality in three words (i.e. “goofy, loyal, loving”) so that she can accurately depict your pup (or cat!).

You can also find her web site here.

November 2, 2009

more holiday collars...

I finished up a few more Holiday Collars over the weekend. I'm so in love with the reindeer... I've named him Bob.

Check them out here.

October 30, 2009

it's that time again...

I can't believe I'm already showing you guys this year's Christmas collars! Where has the time gone?

I've brought back a couple of styles from last Christmas, but I've added a few new ones as well. I've also placed a few plain tartan styles in the shop, and I'll be adding some other boy collars to the shop on Monday, so stay tuned!

You can find all the new Christmas collars here.

October 29, 2009


This dog is a mess. For an old, stray dog that had never set foot in a house before, he sure has come a long way in six months.

October 28, 2009

exciting times on dogwood street

Things have been kind of crazy in my house these past few days... First, I'll start out by telling you that three out of five dogs in my house are on medication for three different things: Henry - antibiotics for his lick granuloma, Penny - something to help with her wicked upset stomach she had late last week, and Oliver - all natural "stress pills" for his recent anxiety attacks. And of course each of these required a separate trip to the vet. Why can't they understand that it would be so much better for me (and my bank account) if they'd just coordinate the timing of their ailments?

Anyway, two nights ago, I was in Martha Stewart mode and had baked a bunch of fun Halloween cupcakes to take to the office and give to friends. I had placed several - seven to be exact - cupcakes on the table in the dining room in order to make more room in the kitchen. When I went to retrieve them about 15 minutes later, I discovered Henry polishing off the very last one. Of course, they were chocolate. Chocolate cake and chocolate frosting. So I immediately begin trying to chase him down. But he thinks he's in trouble so he immediately begins running from me. I manage to catch him, dump him in the tub and then pour a couple tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide down his throat. I won't go into detail, but I'll just say that I got my seven cupcakes back - wrappers still on - about 2 minutes later.

And then last night, around 11 pm, my entire crew cornered one of these in the backyard:

So there I am, in my pajamas, trying to convince a pack of dogs that the inside of my house is more interesting than the live possum sitting on my fence. Miraculously, I did manage to persuade all of them of that... except for Ollie. That dog just has too much terrier in him to let a varmint go willingly. So I had to go and physically drag him back in the house while praying that the possum didn't decide to jump on my head.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we've had our fill of excitement for a while. I can't take much more...

October 26, 2009

stud muffin

Oliver is looking sharp in his Pecan Pie Puppies bow tie collar! And those long, curly chocolate ears! He is such a dapper dandy...

A big thank you to his mom for sending in the photo!

October 22, 2009

daily chuck

Do you guys read the "Daily Chuck" over at Dooce? If you don't, get on it. You won't be sorry.

Photo courtesy of

hilary swank & home 4 the holidays

I actually managed to get up early enough the other day and have enough time to sit down with a cup of coffee and watch the Today Show before going to work. Hilary Swank was on promoting her new movie Amelia (which, incidentally, I am super stoked to see), but she also took some time to promote her other new project - Home 4 the Holidays.

I've always been a big Hilary Swank fan, but after learning that she has partnered up with Iams to promote animal adoptions, she has moved right to the top of my list. In addition to being the proud mom of two rescue pups, Karoo and Rumi, she's helping to promote the rescue cause by lending her time and energy to make sure that this year's Home 4 the Holidays project reaches its goal of 1.5 million adoptions. At this point, they've adopted out a little over 140,000 animals.... which means we've got a long way to go!

So let's help her out... here are just a few ways you can help:
  • All my blogger buddies out there... take a few minutes to post about the importance of animal rescue, and promote Home 4 the Holidays' 2009 goal of 1.5 million adoptions. Call to action!

  • Make a donation - whether it's to this cause or any other shelter... and donations don't have to be monetary. Call your local shelter to see what they need. Many times they can use old dog beds, blankets, towels, food, etc. I know I've personally NEVER turned down a used crate, and there have been times at my house that every single crate I have is occupied.

  • Offer up your time! Many shelters need volunteers to help with everything from dog-walking to record keeping. Another really great way to volunteer is to provide transport for rescues. It's super easy to drive a couple of hours each way so that a few dogs or cats can make their way to a better life.

  • And finally... if you can find a little extra room in your heart and home (and as long as your other fur-children will cooperate)... please consider adoption. I love me some pound puppies (and kitties)!

And just because I'm so excited about the new Amelia movie, I'll leave you this afternoon with the trailer... it looks superb.

October 21, 2009

i'm fired up...

You try and ban this sweet man and I'm gonna bring the hammer down :)

So it turns out that my hometown - Williamston, South Carolina - is considering banning pit bulls and rottweilers. Awesome. This means that I'll either have to make the choice to leave at least two of my dogs behind (or three depending on how broad their definition of "pit bull" is) whenever I visit my parents OR I just won't visit my parents.

Neither of these options makes me happy.

And I'm the lucky one... I don't actually live there anymore. I can't even let myself think of all the dogs that will be destroyed or abandoned if this law is passed.

I've posted here before about Breed Specific Legislation (BSL) but this is the first time it has actually affected me directly. So you can imagine how fired up I am about this.

First, let me explain something about my hometown... it's this little country town in the Upstate of South Carolina where probably 30%of the population still thinks it's ok to chain your dog out back and feed him leftover dinner scraps for nourishment (IF they bother to chain or feed them at all). Another 50% have the mindset that "a dog is a dog... so what?" And if anyone out there from Williamston is reading this, please don't be offended. If you care enough about your dog to read my blog, you obviously don't fall into the aforementioned categories.

But folks, if you think I'm ticked... well, you should talk to my mother. She is... ENRAGED. You don't mess with her kids - and this potential breed ban law does just that. It messes with her kid - me - and her four-legged grandkids. And my mom has never been one to shy away from a fight. So she's gearing up for a full-blown assault (figuratively, people... I mean an assault of the verbal variety) on the town mayor and town council.

I've been helping her compile information for talking points, information packets and letters to the editor. And I thought I'd pass this information along in case anyone out there is facing this same problem.

The information and links I'm providing here are only the tip of the iceberg. I highly recommend doing your own search for information on BSL should the need ever arise.

inspired by...

I'm kind of obsessed with Kate Spade's new fall looks, so when I stumbled across some really cute black and white polka dot fabric the other day, I knew exactly what my inspiration would be for my next collar.

So I picked one of my favorite looks - this particular one is called "Off to the Opera" - and translated it into a dog collar. And I'm just as pleased as punch with how it turned out. I hope I did Kate proud...

*Top photo courtesy of Kate Spade

October 20, 2009


Look at this cutie pie... She's sporting her new Pecan Pie Puppies collar and mugging for the camera! Her name is Hailey and she is an almost-two-year-old, spoiled rotten Boston/Boxer mix who loves snuggles and picking on her two kitty cat sisters.

Thanks so much for the photo!

thanks fellow bloggers!

I just wanted to take a moment and say thanks to a couple of bloggers who thought enough of my collars to feature them on their blogs this past week... Make sure to check them out when you get a chance!

So a big thank you to Hideous! Dreadful! Stinky! and Diary of a Southern Belle. I appreciate the encouragement!

October 16, 2009

this little guy caught my eye...

I spend more time on Petfinder than any sane person should. But as I was looking around yesterday, this little guy jumped out at me. I just love his cute, scruffy face.

His name is Archi and he's available through Golden S Rescue here in South Carolina. They also provide transport, so if you're not from this area but still think Archi would be a great addition to your family, they'll get him to you. You can read more about this little man here.

October 13, 2009

the waldingfield beagles

I'm not into hunting... in fact, I think I'd rather shoot myself than another living animal, but here in South Carolina, I'm pretty much surrounded by it. It's part of the culture of the South. And most hunters I know are awfully proud of their hunting dogs.

It's very interesting to me how hunters train their dogs... whether it be a retriever, a treeing hound or pointer... or any other variation. So the recent article in Garden & Gun about the Waldingfield Beagles caught my attention. It's considered the oldest pack in America, and the article provides some insight into the sport of beagling and how the pack has been maintained since 1885. Click here to read the entire article at Garden & Gun.

*All images courtesy of Garden & Gun

it's fall!

Fall is absolutely my favorite season. The sky just always seems to be so clear, the weather is SOOO nice, and I love me some changing leaves. I'm originally from the foothills of South Carolina, and there's nothing I enjoy more than seeing those rolling hills covered in shades of yellow, orange and red.

So I was excited to pull out these fabrics I had been saving just for this time of year! I love each of these new collars, but I have to say... I think my favorite is the garnet mum and plaid collar. It's perfect for when you take your pup pumpkin picking (say that three times fast!). You can purchase them in the shop here. Happy Fall everyone!

September 29, 2009

anthropologie's puppy love collection

Clockwise from top left: 1) Cavorting Canines dress, 2) SkinnySkinny Dog Shampoo, 3) Good Dog tee, 4) Love That Dog poetry collection

Lots of fun and interesting dog items at Anthropologie right now. I love this store, and when I stumbled across their Puppy Love collection, I'm sort of ashamed to admit that I squealed with delight... It's so nice to find "off the beaten path" dog things that I haven't seen 100 times before.

Check out lots more things in the collection at Anthropologie right here.

September 22, 2009

the odd couple

A hound dog and an orangutan... here.

September 17, 2009

paws for a cause

Breast cancer affects almost everyone in one way or another. And since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I wanted to do something to recognize the importance of breast cancer awareness and contribute to the cause.

This is my first limited edition collar... it will be available through October 23rd. Twenty-five percent of all proceeds will go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. So now all our pups can join in to help end this deadly disease...

September 15, 2009


KbOriginals, etc.

I love these hand-thrown pottery bowls and treat jars from KbOriginals, etc. She creates everything in her home studio in Wisconsin, and the dog bowls can be personalized. The colors she chooses are so lovely!

September 11, 2009

mutt lynch winery

Read more about Mutt Lynch here, AND enter to wine a case of their wine with custom labels featuring a photo of your own dog!

September 9, 2009

a camera shy puppy dog

I realized yesterday that it had been quite some time since I had posted about my sweet guy Henry. (Why, YES... he IS still available for adoption... thanks so much for asking!) I also realized that I didn't have any new pictures of him either. So I took him out in the backyard for a little photo session.

I knew I had a difficult task ahead of me... Henry is camera-shy (although definitely NOT shy in any other capacity). It never fails... every time I point a camera in his direction, he gets this "look" on his face and/or he'll turn his head. And I've tried reading up on the best way to photograph dogs... I don't pressure him... I follow him around at his pace so that he feels more comfortable... I don't try to pose him. But no matter what I do, he goes from happy-go-lucky Henry to abused, poor, pitiful Henry in 1.2 seconds as soon as the camera comes out.

Just a small sampling of the many terrible photographs I had to take of Henry to get even one useable shot...

So yesterday I took close to 100 photos of him and managed to get TWO decent, useable shots. And these photos still don't really do him justice. He's so much cuter than he looks here.

Henry (left) and Quincy (right)... such handsome boys!

This guy is housetrained, well-mannered, and is well-behaved enough to have free reign of the house when I'm at work. He loves EVERYONE (kids included), but I'd recommend he be an only dog or share his humans with an easy-going canine companion (he can be a little bossy sometimes, and although he gets along fine with all my other dogs, I think he'd be happiest where he can be the center of attention). He also has this incredibly endearing, soft "Ahh-rooo-rooo" he gives you when he really wants your attention.

Henry has lots of years left to share with someone special. Please share his story with everyone you know so that we can find him his forever home!

September 4, 2009

greenville county animal care services needs your help!

Blaze is just one of many of the animals currently looking for homes at Greenville County Animal Care Services...

Greenville County Animal Care Services is in dire need of canned puppy and kitten food. If you're in the area, you can drop off in person (328 Furman Hall Road) or you can call in a monetary donation to 864.467.3954. Even the smallest donation is a HUGE help.

September 1, 2009

a visitor at work

I had a visit yesterday from an upexpected guest. My friend and co-worker Ellen was in town, and she brought Miss Tucker Anne by to see me. Tucker is Mona's baby, and I'm always happy to see her. She was fascinated by all the people and little cars below, and she spent the majority of her time at my office doing this:

August 25, 2009

fabulous and philanthropic

Okay, so yes... I know that these have been written about repeatedly (and extensively) on all my favorite design blogs the last few days. But I love them so much that I just can't help myself.

Found My Animal crafts these beautiful (yes, I said beautiful) leashes from hand-spliced rope made by professional New England rope-makers. And then they finish them off with solid brass marine grade cast Italian hardware.

And the best part straight from their web site: "25% of ALL our profits go directly to the Louis Animal Foundation, a unique non-profit group dedicated to spaying/neutering and providing homes for animals who have not yet 'found' their people."

So... a great, well-designed, unique dog product? Check. And they support rescue? Check. AND my dogs would look super stylish walking down the street? Double-check. I'm sold.

August 24, 2009

birthday week

It was "birthday central" in the Dawkins' household this past week. Oliver turned six years old on August 14th, Mona Mae had her fifth birthday on the 19th, and Quincy turned two years old on the 20th.

Obviously, since my dogs are rescues, all birthdays are approximate. Ollie's is probably the most accurate because he was about six months old when I found him as a stray. I simply backed up by six months from February 14th (he was the best Valentine's Day gift EVER), and ta-da... August 14th it is.

Mona was around one year old when I found her, and at the time, my Kate Spade planner included Coco Chanel's birthday in the list of major holidays. So that's how Mona Mae got her birthday... she shares her special day with Coco.

And Quincy... well, I just ran out of creativity. I picked him up from the shelter exactly one year ago on August 20th. So that's his birthday (he shares it with my brother). He was somewhere in the 9 month to one year range at that point. It's a strange feeling to know that a full year has passed since I took him in. It feels like it has gone by so quickly, yet it also feels like I've had him forever.

To all three of my August kids... I love you lots! I'm so grateful to have you in my life. It wouldn't be the same without you!

August 20, 2009

happy birthday baby brother

Jacob with his rescued Golden Retriever Bowman
(what can I say? We're a rescuing kind of family...)

I'd like to interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to say Happy Birthday to my baby brother! He's pretty much the coolest guy I know... way cooler than me :) and I love him to pieces. Oh, and he does this for a living:

Yeah, that doesn't help his cool factor at all does it? Jacob flies an F-18 Super Hornet (he's probably going to email me after this and tell me I didn't title that correctly) for the United States Navy.

He and his wife live in Virginia Beach where he's based, and I hate having them both so far away. So Happy Birthday J! I hope I get to see you soon!


These gals are two of my rescues now living in our nation's capitol. Tucker (on the left) is my Mona's baby girl, and Genevieve (on the right) is one of Penny's babies. Cuties...