January 22, 2010

talented friends

I have a very talented friend who is a great artist and photographer. She's also my go-to "Mona Mae Keeper" when I go out of town. And for Christmas this year, she was super generous and gave me this lovely painting that she did of my sweet miss.

She recently opened her own shop on Etsy that features all original work. Make sure to check it out!

January 19, 2010

another way to help haiti

Search and rescue dogs are working overtime in Haiti right now trying to find those buried as a result of the earthquake. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation - the only non-profit in the nation that recruits rescued dogs, partners them with firefighters, and trains them to find survivors buried in the aftermath of disasters - has deployed several teams to Haiti to help. 

USA Today ran an article this weekend about the efforts of search and rescue dogs in Haiti. One team - Bill Monahan and his Border Collie - rescued three young girls buried under a four story building.

If you'd like to support their efforts, please take the time to go to their web site and donate.

[NOTE: Apparently their web site is down because they're receiving so much traffic. You can learn more about what they're doing in real time by following them on Twitter.]

Watch the video below to see a hero-in-training:

January 15, 2010

puppy love

Valentine's Day collars are in the shop! My favorite is the HeartBreaker Bow Tie... Check them out here.

Who says guys can't wear pink?

And all my proceeds from this year's Puppy Love Collection will go to the Morris Animal Foundation Canine Cancer Campaign. I lost my puppy valentine to cancer less than a year ago, so by raising some money for the cause, I hope to save someone else's valentine.

January 12, 2010

anthropologie doorstop

Where's a poorly hung door when you need one? I really wish I had a good excuse to bring this guy home...

January 11, 2010

the dog hair factor

I don't know if I've ever mentioned it here, but I love interior design. It's a huge passion of mine, and if I had a chance to do it all over again, I'd say "forget political science... let's get an interior design degree!"

Anyway, the reason for my digression here is to confess that my design choices in my own home are primarily dictacted by two things: 1) Do I like the way it looks and 2) is it dog-friendly?

So when I look at a photo like the one above, the conversation with myself goes something like this:

"Ooh, I love this bathroom. So pretty! I love the way they've hung the deep green velvet drapes outside the door. And the rug is such an unexpected choice for a bathroom, but it really adds interest to the room. Oh, but it's probably an antique. I could just see my face the first time one of the dogs tracked mud on it. And can you imagine the scratches their nails would make on that floor? And those velvet drapes - you might as well just hang a sign on them that says 'Dog Hair Magnet.'"

But here's the thing... I love my dogs WAY more than pretty velvet drapes, white floors and fancy rugs. So I stick with what works (i.e. washeable, wipeable, nothing too fancy), because at the end of the day, an expensive sofa isn't going to greet me at the door with a wagging tail and an open heart.

all it takes is just one thing

Just do one thing... no matter how small.

You can keep tabs on Stanley and join his Facebook page here.

January 7, 2010


So I'm working in my home office last night... sewing away on a few collars... when I stop to listen for the sounds of puppy mischief. And - "crickets". And while you might think that the quiet was a good thing, I know better. Complete silence around my house usually means that someone (or everyone) is up to no good.

So I ventured out into my living room, and I saw this:

Adorable and completely insane at the same time, no?

January 6, 2010

gigantic goldendoodle

This is Oscar. He belongs to my brother & sister-in-law, and he makes me laugh.

January 5, 2010


"You mean this isn't my bed??"

So the pups and I managed to survive another holiday season, and I hope that I still have some readers out there after my hiatus... hopefully... anyone... out there?

I had lots of great customers that took home lots of my Christmas collars this year. And that combined for a wonderful but busy holiday season. I think my dogs wondered what had happened to me... I definitely neglected them for about a month or so while I was glued to my sewing machine!

Quincy has had to get used to sharing his snuggles with others...

To kick things off with a new year around these parts, I want to officially introduce everyone to my current foster dog - Matilda. I've actually had her with me for a couple of months now, but I've waited to post about her until I got her healthy. She arrived at my house with demodectic mange (thank heavens it's not contagious), and because of that, she had a bald head and a few other bald patches on her body. So we had to wait to take her glamour shots until now. But she has turned into quite the cutie with these beautiful honey-colored eyes, little freckles across her muzzle and head, and big, blonde polka dots on her back.

She's now mange-free, has had all her shots, and she'll be spayed very soon before she goes to a new home. She's a young one - somewhere between eight to twelve months old - and she definitely acts her age. She's very playful, L.O.V.E.S. my other dogs and from time to time she'll have one of those crazy, running-in-circles moments.

But once she settles down, she gives my Quincy a run for his money in the snuggling department. There's nothing that makes her happier than cuddling on the sofa... whether it's with me or the other dogs. And she gets along well with my cat, although a less tolerant feline might find Matilda to be a little too enthusiastic.

She does well in her crate, she's housetrained, and she's learned sit, down, off and leave it (although that last one is negotiable if it's something REALLY interesting).

Although she loves kids, she will need to go to a home without them because she is a mild resource guarder. Some of you out there probably know what this means, and you might even have a dog that has this problem (I've learned lately that it's more common than I realized unfortunately). But in case you don't, this means that she can be possessive of high-value objects like rawhides - occasionally (not always) she'll growl when you try to take a rawhide or special toy away.

[To learn more about resource guarding, you can listen to Dr. Ian Dunbar discuss it in depth here].

I've been working with her on it, and she is doing really well (we've had growling on two different occasions during the two months I've had her). But this does mean that she can't live with children, and she needs to go to a dog-experienced home where the new owner(s) are willing to continue working with her using positive reinforcement.

This does not mean she's not a sweet and wonderful dog... she's probably one of the sweetest dogs I've ever rescued. But she does have this issue, and I will only place her in a home that is a great fit - one where everyone involved understands the problem and where they will work with her on it and continue her training. There's no doubt that she will bring a great amount of joy and love into the right home.

If you'd like to help Miss Matilda find her forever home, please take a minute to post her on your blog or Facebook page, or send around an email with a link to my post. She's an incredibly special girl that deserves an incredibly special future. So spread the word! Anyone interested in learning more about her can email me here.

PS - Most of you know that I'm a tireless Pit Bull advocate, so I just wanted to make sure that everyone knows that resource guarding is not just a "Pit Bull thing." I've seen resource guarding in goldendoodles, shih-tzus, and hounds... just to name a few. Ok, that's all... carry on.