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Saturday, September 29, 2012

It's apple time! Here in Washington that means a drive east over the mountains to the farm markets for some crisp, fresh apples

. (By the way, that leash and collar above are sold in our store. Just saying...) 

There are so many varieties of apples and just the names themselves are fun to consider: Fuji, Cameo, Jonagold, and Honeycrisp, have become popular Washington-grown apples. We get Liberty apples that are trucked in from Oregon. If you are near Sebastopol, California, you'll find Gravensteins in a few areas on this list. The kids still love the Red Delicious apples for lunchbox treats, and of course, Granny Smith for pies. Massachusetts boasts so many apples with names like Spigold, Ambrosia, and Crimson Crisp. There lots of other local apple varieties all around the USA, and 7,500 throughout the world.

I occasionally skim those articles on currently popular baby names that appear from time to time in the news, and recently read one that mentioned the trend in girl names ending in the -ey suffix. Waverley, Ashley, and so forth. Well, we're all about dogs here, so what about the dog names we choose?

My limited observations would divide currentdog names into roughly two categories of endings. There are the -ey names for sure: Happy, Lacey (that's Barbie's Chihuahua's name by the way - you learned it here), Trixie, and Barkley. These are definitely happy and upbeat, easy to call out, and cute.

Is there another category for currently trending dog names that end in -er? Dodger, Keeper, Tagger, Sniffer, Tracker, and others suggest active, alert, dogs who are on the go and enthusiastic. But it's not just about suffixes.

Like apples, there are so many kinds of dog names that categorizing them seems endless. There are the one-syllable sheepdog names from the farm dogs with phenomenal focus: Shep, Skip, Tam, and Spot. I'm always wondering if the name follows the dog's personality and style, or the other way around. I'd really like to read some comments about your dog's name and how you chose it. Did he just seem like a Skippy, lively and active, or was there another back story to explain how Homer got his name?

The old-school dog names were big on royalty and aristocratic titles: King, Queenie, Duke, Princess, and the like. Isn't it a wonder that we've never named our dogs after the titles of our government leaders: Senator, Prez, Councilman, or Mayor? At least I've never heard any. The military and police titles are well represented with: Sarge, Gunner, Captain, and Major. Mainstay names like Jake, Max, Rex, and other one-syllable, regular guy names are still also popular.

Probably my favorite category is the lady names for stocky, solid, no-nonsense breeds like English Bulldogs, Pugs, and Saint Bernards. My favorite English Bulldog puppy girl name is Edna, an absolutely adorable dog I met some time ago. Ruby, Mabel, and the solid, no-frills women's names are popular with these breeds. The absolute best I've heard in recent years is Darla, shown right here wearing her football jersey.

She's not Barbie's dog; she belongs to a Patriot's fan. Any more questions?

Of course, there are no rules to follow when naming your dog. Go traditional, trendy, or completely original with a made-up name that has significance only to you. Your dog only cares that in some way, maybe just on the veterinarian's chart, your last name appears with his. It's all about the pack, and belonging together. Frisky, Lucky, Homer, Honey, Prince, or Hazel will do their best to live up to your hopes for them, and be a credit to the family name.

How did you decide on your dog's name? We'd love to know.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gingerbread Dog

Gingerbread is a big part of the Christmas celebration in our home. We decorate gingerbread houses with the little kids, and enjoy those wonderful German and Swedish gingerbread cookies that we find at Cost Plus, Ikea, and Trader Joe's. There are even a few brown felt gingerbread ornaments,  constructed very long ago, that appear to grace the tree.

This year we have several fun gingerbread items for the fur kids. 

This is called pajamas, but I think of it more as a jumpsuit. Comfy, cozy, and so cute. Not too thick, just the right weight for your little dog who may love to play the gingerbread man chase game that every dog knows so well.

Take a picture of your little dog in this one for some great promo pictures for the cookie exchange or Christmas holiday event you enjoy. It could be your dog's Halloween costume as well.

This is a nice medium-sized, plush, squeaky toy. Perfect for the friend at work who likes to talk about his dog. A great gift for your own pet, who will love all the handy pickup points on this gingerbread boy.

I think our dogs' favorite toy of all time is this set of four.

 There is the gingerbread house

and the three smaller pieces that can be hidden inside it.

As a set this makes such a bundle of fun for one or more dogs.

We'll be listing more Christmas toys and apparel in the days ahead, as well as a couple of Thanksgiving items that are quite unique. Of course it doesn't have to be Christmas for you to enjoy some gingerbread cookies and a cup of coffee. Take time to relax while you plan ahead for the holidays. As we remember from our early years, at least half the fun is in the anticipation.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Orange You Glad It's Fall?

What is it about Fall that makes us crave the color orange?

Here are a few goodies from our store that will let you enjoy the season's favorite color -

First there's a precious Halloween outfit for your little girl.

This witch has the most hideous screaming cackle. I once worked for a
woman who seriously had a laugh like that. Long ago, thankfully.

This warm blanket coat is reversible and reflective.

And a cozy Scandinavian design sweater, 
so right for the chilly weather ahead.

Gotta love the expression on this one. 
The dogs love its texture

This happy pumpkin is listed at auction 99 cents today. Maybe your dog will be the lucky one who wins this plushy toy.

After a record  number of dry days this summer, we're getting prepared here in the Seattle
area. Rain is on the way. Why not be ready with a high-viz jacket with hood and reflective stripes?
Handy hood and pocket make this a good one for any precip in the forecast. I know my little poodle is going to be furious when it finally really rains again.

When he goes outside and finds the weather is awful, (thunder, snow, whatever), he'll bark up at the sky, kind of like an old curmudgeon waving his fist and shouting "Get off my lawn!" He doesn't seem to notice that Mother Nature doesn't accommodate him, but seems to feel better just getting it off his chest.

Then there are the lovely maple leaf collars and leashes by Up Country, 
a stunning design with cider gold and maple syrup tones.

We hope that you and your dog(s) are enjoying the foliage colors and crisp air
that give this time of year its special beauty. Our dogs are busy barking at the
squirrels that love to taunt them from the safety of the trees. Every walk has an
endless array of scents and sidelines that keep them on high alert. A walk with a nature-loving
 dog  serves to remind us to look and appreciate every hue and horizon and slip into
 a Robert Frost kind of appreciation for the gifts of autumn.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Football Referees - Say What?

So about the guys in the black and white stripes, you know for calling the plays in NFL

I'm no expert, but what I saw and read about that game between the


seemed like someone ought to be wearing black and white stripes like these

Seriously, it isn't about just one team, although we love our

It's about the integrity of the game.

We need to get back the
expert refs so we can enjoy
 the season fully this year.

We're so ready for some football,  
and we definitely have the gear!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Tiny Patent Purse for Dog Walkers

Your dog is always on your side, and at your side. She knows how you love the gorgeous handbags. So, she's got a lovely reason to urge you to buy a new one. It's patent, in very winter-friendly colors: red, black, spearmint green.

Not to be indelicate, but this is a little purse that will carry your color-coordinated waste pickup bags. Why shouldn't you have a little style when you're being a responsible dog owner? You really need a bag of bags to do your civic duty when it comes to walking your dog on public property.

Everyday activities like cleaning up at the dog park or on a walk in your neighborhood call for a snappy little bag. These make fab little gifts for your dog-owning girlfriends! If you have a gift exchange with a dog owner - here you go.

These would make great stocking stuffer, small gifts for anyone who walks a dog.

Classic black -

or Christmas red -

Carrying a cute bag like this, you'll never be without a cleanup bag when you need one. (A roll of 20 in each of these Hobbit-size purses.) When those are gone, you can put your own recycled plastic bags in this purse.

Your dog wants you to have this new bag. And the price, well, about the cost of a latte, and no calories whatsoever. Don't miss out on these. Shop early while we have several in each color.
Just think, if you carry this in your larger handbag, you can have a bag within a bag within a bag - and lots of dog-walking style and convenience.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Disconnect in the Pacific Northwest

Okay, it's late September, it's Seattle, and our instincts tell us it's time to look for the pumpkin lattes, pick up an extra space heater for the back room, and think about preparing for the holidays ahead.

One itty bitty problem, though. We've had southern California weather now for two weeks. Dry and 84 degrees just doesn't seem like Fall at all. So even though everyone is running around in sandals and shorts, it's time to get the fleece out and prepare for some chilly days ahead.

Here are a couple of new Nordic designs in cozy sweaters -

Our customers in Norway and Canada should be ready for these right now.

So I'll be listing all our coats and sweaters this week, as well as a preview of Christmas.

This hardy terrier doesn't look like the type to put off prepping for the winter. The soft corduroy coat is country-wise and city-smart. Cozy sherpa lining will keep your dog warm and stylish.

You'll also find this one in dark green -

I only wish they made a matching coat for the dog walker. That toggle closure is so classic.

Keep watching every day for all the rest of our terrific Winter inventory. 
There will be lots to see in our store, so run, run as fast as you can to catch some great buys.

Be sure to look at the present sweaters with beautiful ribbon bows. These are perfect for all your holiday events.

Take a Christmas picture of your dog to create a card or party invitation that will be a keepsake in itself.

Made in the USA, these are exquisite. 

Even though it still seems like summer, now is the time to plan ahead. 
Shop early for your best selection of sizes, and you'll be glad you did. 

Like shopping for kids, the good stuff sells out fast, so be sure to buy your fur kids' winter wear and Christmas items when you first see them. They'll be glad you did!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Roll Crimson Tide! Dog Team Gear

Alabama fans, we have your dog's fall gear right here! We just added lots of new, fun team logo things, so Roll on over to the store and pick up something wonderful for your four-legged fan.

Here is a fun fetching toy with easy pickup rope edges and a squeaker hidden in that cushy part in the middle. Your dog will love this one. Great gift for any dog-owning Alabama fan.

This is our latest, and I think it is the absolute greatest - a varsity jacket for your Alabama boy. Faux leather, snap closure, ribbing on cuffs, neck and waist, just like the real thing. Your dog will love the looks and admiration he gets wearing this status coat.

For your little girl fan, here is something to cheer about -

Is that cute or what? Add some spirit to your game day party and get your dogs in on the fun.
These would make great Halloween costumes, as well. Gotta say, this looks like a fantastic year for Alabama. Take your dog's picture in these outfits for some adorable cards and invitations for all your Crimson Tide parties and celebrations. Roll Tide!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Presidential Pooches

After the commotion and drama of two political conventions, the presidential race is on. After watching and listening, I think I've made my choice. Hint: read this shirt-

No, that's not mine. It's a shirt for your small dog. 
Considering what we need in presidential leadership, your little dog is probably highly qualified.

We want a president who is:

honest - with body language that expresses every emotion; honesty is a dog's home state

loyal - doggy devotion would be a fine standard for all politicians to aspire to
patriotic - who better appreciates the blessings of a beautiful country than a freedom-loving dog
a problem solver - you know the one who always finds the tennis ball in the tall grass
assertive -  I guess the lady who fills up the treat jar can verify this
wise - remember who found the food gift out of all those wrapped presents under the tree
protective - like the little barker who scares that delivery person away every time
incorruptible - money just doesn't matter to your dog, it's all about the people at home

So, I guess we have our candidate. Got my vote!