December 22, 2010

we love orvis


We love Orvis in our neck of the woods. They have great dog products, and their dog beds are the best out there. I highly recommend their memory foam beds if you have a pup that's getting on in years and has joint pain, or if you have a certified "Dog Bed Destroyer," check out their tough-chew beds.

But now I love them even more. For every new "Like" they receive on their Orvis Dogs Facebook page in the month of December, Orvis will donate $1 to the Morris Animal Foundation's Canine Cancer Campaign up to $10,000!

It's only for the month of December, so go like them right now! Go on... get!

November 30, 2010

paloma's nest


This has nothing to do with dogs, but it IS Southern, so I have to share. I've always been a fan of Paloma's Nest... I love the simplicity of her designs. But this ornament is so fantastically Southern that I had to show you guys.

You slap "y'all" on pretty much anything and I'm on board. It's one of the most convenient contractions ever. For my non-Southerners out there - you really need to start working it into your conversations. You'll be amazed at how much time you save.

November 29, 2010

Thanks SHAPE Magazine!


I'm so excited that SHAPE Magazine included my Pink Peony Seersucker Collar in their holiday gift guide this year! How cute is that model?

SHAPE Magazine is giving away five of my collars (plus lots of other cool stuff from their gift guide) on the web site... just go here to check it out!

November 18, 2010

new collars


So I seriously underestimated how quickly my holiday collars would sell this year. It's a great problem to have, and thank you to everyone that has purchased already - you guys are great! - but I've already run out of the fabric that I used for my original Holiday Tartan collars. And since I can't order more, I've added two different tartans to the shop. So it turned out to be a good thing, because I am in L-O-V-E with the new emerald green fabric that I found.

You can find them in the shop!

November 17, 2010

ornaments anyone?

Christmas will be here before we can all turn around twice. I'm doing two trees this year to make up for the fact that I didn't put up a tree last year... One will be my pretty, color-coordinated tree and the other will be a smaller, dog-themed tree with the custom ornaments I've had made (more on that tomorrow).

Here's a little mini-round up of some cute puppy ornaments out there...


Clockwise from top left: 1) Handmade felt breed ornaments from Best Friends Studios (he looks just like Quincy!); 2) Custom ceramic bone ornaments from Sunshine Ceramics (I've ordered a bunch of these for myself and family!); 3) Fabric dapper doggies from Crate and Barrel; and 4) A classic from Pottery Barn.

November 9, 2010

rover


I don't dress my dogs in outfits and things, but I will have them rock a sweater or coat from time to time if the weather gets cold enough (which almost never happens in South Carolina). But when I found these tailored, classic jackets from ROVER, I almost fell out of my chair. They're all handmade and available right here.

Y'all don't tell Mona Mae, but that khaki trench up there is probably going to be her Christmas present. How faboo will she look sporting that coat with one of my red flowers pinned to the collar?

October 29, 2010

it's dangerous to be my friend


This is what ends up happening if you're my friend... I convince you to take animals from me, and then you end up with an adorable yet neurotic dog that has the legs of a giraffe, and a terrorist cat that has been (affectionately) dubbed Osama bin Martin.

They look awfully cute here, but this was probably before all heck broke loose and things went downhill. For example, Amos absolutely refuses to eat his dog food out of anything. Seriously. You can't give him his food in a bowl... he's scared of it. He used to just eat his food straight off the floor, but I think they've made progress and he'll now use a paper plate. And Martin the cat? He will climb you... up your leg, he'll take a detour under your arm, scale your neck and then to the top of your head.

But my friends Kati & Matt are animal people and they love their special needs children. Although I am surprised they're speaking to me these days...

October 25, 2010

back from the big city


I have returned from Atlanta with my brain full of new dog training info and my purse empty of money. Just take a look at all the fun dog stuff I scored at the APDT Trade Show. I won't bore you with everything I purchased, but some of the highlights are the Kong Wobbler, a couple of Nina Ottosson toys (the Tornado and Twister) and a new Premier Slap Happy. I also went a little nuts at the Dogwise booth and bought several new books (on the topics of shy and fearful dogs, managing a multi-dog household and canine cognition). If you want more info on any of the books or any toys you spy in the picture above, just let me know.

We went non-stop every day during the conference, and I was so excited that I got a chance to learn from some of the top trainers and animal behaviorists in the country. One of the big highlights of my week was meeting Patricia McConnell in person and having the opportunity to listen to her presentation on canine cognition and emotions.

I also attended an "Intro to K9 Nose Work" presentation at the conference, and I am so excited about it. It's a relatively new sport in the dog world, and the great thing about it is that you don't have to compete to actually enjoy the sport with your dog. It's all about developing your dog's natural scenting abilities, and it's lots of fun for both owner and dog. The K9 Nose Work concept was developed by Amy Herot, Jill Marie O'Brien and Ron Gaunt, and their presentation was a basic introduction to the sport and provided just enough information to make me excited to start working with my dogs. If you want more information on it, you can check out their site.

That's going to have to be all for now because I'm off to catch up on collar-making and hanging out with my pups... I missed them!

October 18, 2010

hittin' the road


I'm taking this show on the road tomorrow and heading to the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference in Atlanta, Georgia. This is my first conference, and I am so incredibly lucky to be mentored by a couple of APDT veterans - one of whom is a past APDT president. I hope to return with my brain bursting with new and insightful canine information (and my wallet a little - or a lot - lighter after I hit the trade show). I'll be checking in here regularly though so make sure to stop by from time to time this week.

October 15, 2010

holiday collars are here!


So it's in the the shop... the new 2010 Holiday Collection. I know it's early... but here's something I've learned since opening my store. I used to be one of those people who got really ticked when Target started putting out Christmas gear before Halloween had passed (and I still get apoplectic when I hear Christmas music on the radio before Thanksgiving). But now that I've been on this side of the retail situation, I realize that folks expect your Christmas stuff to be available this early. I get emails and inquiries that start in early October asking about my Christmas collars. So there you go. Christmas in October.

But I am really excited about this year's collection. I love Christmas, and it's always a lot of fun for me to plan and design my holiday collars. And now I can share it with you... take a gander...

I'm bringing back the poinsettia this year - but this time it's available in all three colors...




And there are a couple of bow tie options for the special man in your life...



And in addition to Mr. Santa up there, there's also a saucy little red bird and the tartan trio...


October 14, 2010

front door warning


This doormat is perfect for me. It would provide ample warning to guests that animals and fur are in ample supply just beyond my front door.

While I don't have any hooved animals in my crew (see doormat), I have been seriously considering adding a couple of chickens to the family now that the city allows them. But I must devise a way to keep them safe and secure from crazy dogs before I can expand my brood. I also must reconcile myself to the fact that the chickens wouldn't be allowed inside when it gets cold. I'd be the crazy lady trying to round up her chickens and put them in the bathroom every night during the winter...

October 13, 2010

sneaky sneaky...

A little sneak peek of what's to come... the 2010 Holiday Collection in the shop this Friday:

October 7, 2010

a pick-me-up just for you

This isn't dog-related at all, but I needed a little pick me up this afternoon, so I thought I'd share it with you too. Wouldn't it be nice if we could greet everyday like this? Ok, I'm out... gotta go practice this dance...

October 6, 2010

a former marine finds a home

Photo by Anne McQuary for The Wall Street Journal

Gunner, a former bomb-sniffing dog in the Marines, has found a new home with the Dunhams whose own son died in Iraq protecting the men with whom he served. And now they've opened their hearts and home to an emotionally scarred Labrador who needs lots of love and guidance. I hope that together this new little family will be able to begin healing, and I hope that the Dunhams will get Gunner the help he needs to adjust to his new life and learn to be a fun-loving Labrador once again.

Read more about Gunner and the Dunhams here.

October 5, 2010

keeping it simple


I love making my collars with the cute owls, watermelons and turkeys. They're lots of fun, but I confess... my favorite collars are always the ones with just simple blossoms or bow ties. And I LOVE my new plaid collars in the shop. Usually my dogs get the cast-offs that don't ever make it to the store, but these are so pretty that I'm going to make my crew a fresh batch of collars.


And can we talk about how much I love plaid? There's something so perfect about plaid, and I'm currently obsessed with it now that's it's getting a little cooler outside. I realized today though that I need to mix it up a little in the bow tie department... I only have one non-plaid bow tie collar in the shop. I'm going on the hunt for boy fabrics soon so I can remedy the problem.

You can find the new plaid collars in the shop here.

September 28, 2010

fetch & win a freebie!


I've always found it interesting how some dogs have zero interest in playing fetch while others would literally walk over hot coals to retrieve a ball and bring it back.

Sure... those delightful retrievers are hard-wired to fetch. My perfect Labrador Retriever was a certified fetcher - he should've had some kind of laminated card he could whip out that said "Every tennis ball returned within one minute or your next throw is free." If there was a ball within a one mile radius, he would find it, and he couldn't focus on anything else until the ball was located and then dropped at my feet.

But what about those dogs that aren't tried and true retrievers? I have a Pit Bull that will almost jump a six foot fence trying to get to a tennis ball that has gone awry. But the other Pittie in the household will go fetch it a couple of times and then look at me as if to say "Been there, done that. What's next lady?" And then of course there's Mona Mae who's definitely more Labrador than anything else and she couldn't care less about a ball. Retrieving is sooo beneath her. My hound mix is kuh-razy about playing fetch, but my Dalmation mix is hit or miss depending on what day it is (or perhaps it just depends on which one of his wires is loose that day).

In my "fruit basket turnover" of a doggie household, I have a canine at pretty much every point on the Fetching Spectrum. DNA obviously plays a big role in how ball-crazy a dog will be... And there are ways to train even the most ball-ambivalent dog to fetch. But I just think it's an interesting discussion.

So let's hear it guys - do you have a crazy fetcher in the family? Leave a comment telling me all about it and you'll have a chance to win the stylish set of Harry Barker tennis balls above (maybe Mona Mae would fetch if I bought her cute tennis balls). They come in two different sizes so even the little bits can play.

Deadline to enter is Saturday, October 2nd at noon ET. TIME'S UP!

One winner will be picked at random and announced sometime Friday late afternoon. Good luck everyone!


The winner is Stella Louise! Congrats... Please email me here so I can get your address. Thanks so everyone for participating!

September 24, 2010

EmersonMade


I have long been obsessed with EmersonMade. They started out making handmade flowers (which of course makes them kindred spirits), and they recently branched out with a clothing line and additional accessories that are so awesome it almost makes me shed a tear.

Do y'all see how fantastic that clutch is? Someone pass me my wallet STAT.

September 22, 2010

turkeys r cool


Just added my one and only Thanksgiving collar to the shop... Ted is his name, running from Farmer John is his game. Ted can rest easy though since we're vegetarians round these parts... check him out here.

September 20, 2010

dog-friendly beaches round-up


Coastal Living has a great round-up on their web site of dog-friendly beaches around the country. While my fave didn't make the list (Sullivan's Island, SC), there are plenty of great options so make sure to check it out.

September 17, 2010

dogify the kitchen


Any Bulldog or Berner fans out there? Hang one of these on the oven door and you'll smile every time you're in the kitchen. It'll make emptying the dishwasher a little more cheerful.

September 15, 2010

entourage


Awesome. Requires a dog with plenty of swagger to pull it off.

gone fishin'


Not really... but for those of you that visited my shop in the last couple of  days, I'm sure you noticed that all of my collars were missing. I had an issue with the online shop, but it's back up and running now. Thanks to all of you who were concerned about my whereabouts!

And now that I'm back in business, I've added my 2010 Halloween collars to the shop. So go check 'em out.

September 10, 2010

friday frog legs

Frog legs make that bone taste better... you didn't know that?

video

September 3, 2010

these creatures


So when you have five dogs, you have dog bowls EVERYWHERE. I only have two dogs that can happily eat together side by side... the other three have to be fed in completely separate locations in order to keep the peace. But if I didn't have that problem, I would be all over these hanging feeders from these creatures.

Here's a dog doing his thing... I love the fact that it would keep a dog that likes to flip her bowl over from doing so (ahem, Matilda).


I'm particularly fond of the Pit Bull style... I swear, it looks like Quincy secretly went and modeled for it.

September 1, 2010

early fall

I've got a girl crush... and her name is Olive. She makes me happy.

Just added a few new "early Fall" items to the shop. And yes, I know it's not quite fall, but I'm so ready for cooler weather, falling leaves and COLLEGE FOOTBALL baby! Go Tigers!

August 31, 2010

love me some books

These two new books will be making their way to my bookshelf. The cover on the first one alone was enough to hook me. Check out Oogy and The Lost Dogs.


kids say the darndest things...

Can't take credit for this one... my friend was passing it around on her Facebook page, but it's so adorable that I must share. My bully lovers out there are going to be very happy campers.

August 19, 2010

SUV dog crates

I pride myself on knowing most of the handy gadgets and helpful everyday items for dog owners that are out there. (That happens when you have five dogs and your entire life revolves around them.) So how did these extra-narrow, SUV dog crates escape my notice? I had a friend mention them to me recently, and I was like "WHAT?". So I immediately tracked them down.


I'm sort of ashamed to admit that I am REALLY excited about these. But at least I'm among dog lovers here. You can order them at Amazon for only $80 each (that's for the large size) and it easily will fit my largest dog (around 62 lbs). For those of you with really big dogs, never fear. They have an even larger size that is still the same width.

I've also been searching for a new vehicle (since my poor little Escape was sent to car heaven when I had my wreck), and I'm pretty settled on the Chevy Traverse.



It is deceptively roomy... and the available cargo space is considerable - 116.4 cubic feet! And it's pretty too. I will be able to fit FOUR of the SUV crates in the back if I need to (which I do... because I have 100 bajillion dogs). And it gets much better gas mileage than something like a Tahoe or Expedition.

I also considered the Honda Element, and it was a strong contender. But its cargo space - even with the back seats removed - couldn't compare to what the Traverse could offer. So I'm currently on the hunt for a Traverse that has all the features I want. I can't drive right now anyway (lovely cast on my right leg and all), so I have plenty of time to make sure I find exactly what I need.

August 12, 2010

dusty girl


I love chalkboards. I realize that it's strange to love chalkboards. But I do.

I love making lists and writing things out, and chalkboards - although messy - are just better looking than most white boards.

So this chalkboard - with it's little doggie shaped eraser - is right up my alley.

August 4, 2010

furbish dog beds


I don't know if you guys read I Suwannee, but if you don't... then get on it. Jamie has an awesome blog, and she now has an fantastic store - Furbish - based in Raleigh, NC. I love that she's taken the big step to open up her own shop... she's working hard, but I can tell she's loves what she's doing. I'm super inspired and envious... I'm always dreaming of what I hope to do some day, and I'm working toward that goal, but so far, I'm still going through the daily grind until I reach the point where I can leave my job with a steady salary and benefits and live my dream.


But I digress. Jamie just unveiled her new line of dog beds at Furbish. Can you say eye candy? And she also has an adorable schnauzer Rowdy that is with her at the shop most days (also super jealous that she can take her pup to work with her). And if you happen to live near Raleigh, you can head over to Rowdy's birthday party this Saturday at the store! If you bring a puppy friend, you get a storewide discount and there will be all kinds of fun doggie things for our four-legged friends.

And even if you can't get to the store in person, you can email Jamie for pricing information on her new dog beds. She ships straight from the store. Happy shopping!

July 21, 2010

wrecked

Hi guys... just wanted to explain my recent absence. I was involved in a pretty bad car wreck early last week. I totaled my car, was banged up pretty good, and dislocated and broke some bones in my right foot.

I'm doing ok... and luckily I have a wonderful mom who has practically moved in with me to take care of me and all my puppies. I also have fantastic friends that are dog-sitting for a few of my babies as well.

I'm very lucky that I wasn't more seriously hurt considering the severity of the wreck, and I'm incredibly grateful that I didn't have any of the dogs with me. I know without a doubt that they would have most likely been killed if they had been in the car.

This has brought home to me that they need to be as secure as possible when I have them with me in the car, and making sure they're safe is my number one priority as I choose my new car. I'll keep you all posted as I research dog-friendly vehicles in the next couple of weeks. Thanks guys!

July 12, 2010

the skinny

So since I've been away so long, I thought I'd fill everyone in on the pups' current activities... we've been busy.


Mona Mae is currently in Rally training. If you don't know what Rally is, it's basically a course that we go through together where we have to perform different obedience tasks... Not as physical as agility, but fun all the same. We hope to start entering competitions soon! And don't you think she's looks extra cute these days too?

Quincy is still visiting with me as my Delta Society Pet Partner around town. He visits a local assisted living facility, an oncology unit at a local hospital and a VA medical facility. He loves visiting and passing on his doggie love, and I enjoy the fact that we get to change the perception of pit bulls one person at a time.


Oliver is... still Oliver. He's a little kooky, but sweet as can be.


Penny Sue had recently become more and more anxious and nervous. She's always been skittish, but she has gotten worse in recent months. I'm working with my vet on different medication options, and we've been test-driving the Thundershirt. So far, we've had some success with it, but I think it gives even better results with other anxious behaviors (thunder and other sound phobias, etc.) than it does for her general anxiety.

And guess who's still around? Matilda... also known around these parts as "Flapjack." Oh yes, she still lives with me. I haven't been able to find a good home for her yet. But I've been having a blast working on clicker training with her. She has taken to it like a duck to water, and she has learned all kinds of useful and fun things. We've also been working hard on "sitting for petting" because she tends to be rather enthusiastic about greeting new people. She also is a pain to photograph... she either won't sit still or she looks like she does to the left - like she has a stomachache or something. But she's still available for adoption so spread the word!

So that's the skinny on my puppy pack. Well, that... and the fact that they're all shedding like crazy and I feel like I live in a dog fur snowglobe sometimes.