Friday, 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...

Monday, 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!

Monday, 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.

Friday, 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...

Thursday, 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...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

sneaky sneaky...

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

Thursday, 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...

Wednesday, 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.

Tuesday, 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.