Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Labrador's New Clothes

Many of you know Susie by now. She is my foster failure. For those of you not familiar with the term foster failure, let me define it for you. Foster Failure - n. one who moves into one's family temporarily with the purpose of being made ready for adoption, thereby eventually leaving temporary residence. Aforementioned temporary resident never leaves temporary residence and becomes permanent resident including, but not limited to, taking aforementioned temporary residence's family name permanently. Now all of you HOTLR foster families or foster wannabes beware of the foster failure phenomenon. Having experienced it myself I can honestly tell you that it does not cure you of the desire to foster. If anything, you realize what incredible dogs are out there and you just got to get your hands on more!!! Anyway, on with the blog......

Susie has been with us nearly two years. We are not sure of her birth date or her age. However, we have decided to make the first day that she came to live with us her birthday. That day was July 2, 2008. So, Susie's birthday is upon us.

One of the things that is so special about Susie is that you can take her anywhere, introduce her to anyone anyplace and her behavior is completely predictable. She is cool as a cucumber, loves to travel and is completely trustworthy in all situations. She has visited assisted living facilities, doubled as a jungle gym for my young nephews, and has been employed as a greeter in the lobby of the vet clinic where I work. It was high time this special girl received a special gift for her birthday. I thought it would be cool to get her a really nice matching collar and leash to wear when she goes visitin'.

I don't usually do product reviews on this blog. But sometimes when I find a unique pet product - something that really works, is creative and is of high quality, I like to talk about it. So, today, I'd like to talk about Lucky Fiona Retro Inspired Custom Dog and Cat Collars. I found out about Lucky Fiona through Kim Usey a repeat adopter and volunteer for HOTLR. At the time Lucky Fiona was running a special (a BOGO special we ladies like to call it). What better time to get Susie a new collar and leash, plus with the buy one, get one special on collars, Susie's sister Rio would get a little something out of the deal too.

So, I went to the Lucky Fiona website and began to shop. The great thing about Lucky Fiona is that each collar is custom made. You get to pick the fabric the collar is made from, the size of the collar and the style of collar. They have hardware to make collars as wide as 2 inches and can even create martingale collars which are the preferred style for HOTLR dogs. The same is true with the leashes. You choose the length of the leash and the fabric as well. There are tons of fabrics to choose from and paying is simple through PayPal. Prices are moderate at $16.99 for a collar and $27.99 for a leash, but keep in mind though you could find less expensive collars and leashes, these are one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted, made-in-Chicago, IL, USA-by-an-individual, unique items.

I was on pins and needles waiting for my special delivery. I received a notification via email once my special package was on its way. Yesterday, low and behold, there it was in the mailbox waiting for me. I rushed into the house and opened the envelope. Each item was packaged separately in a plastic bag covered in paw prints. Inside each item was wrapped with a sweet orange ribbon. Perfect birthday wrapping for the birthday pup.

The collars were beautiful. Stitched to perfection, padded and extra thick, there were no rough edges that might itch or irritate sensitive skin. The leash likewise, was beautifully tailored and perfectly matched Susie's new collar. I couldn't wait for Susie's actual birthday, but actually put the collar on her and Rio right away (hence, the pictures). I was thrilled and completely 100% satisfied!!

So, if you are looking for some new and unique "clothes" for your beloved pup, check out Lucky Fiona. You won't regret it and your pup will be sure to be the best dressed pup in town!!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Chicken Wings and Labrador Things

Heart of Texas Lab Rescue is excited to announce its first ever "Yappy Hour". This relaxing event will be held from 5-7pm on Saturday, June 26th at Pluckers Wing Bar located on So. Lamar. Click on this link for directons: Pluckers Directions

We will be on the cool and refreshing patio which is equipped with misting systems and fans to help relieve the heat. Dogs on leashes are more than welcome and don't forget to invite your friends. This event is not limited to Labradors only, so if you have other furry friends you'd like to invite, please feel free to bring them along. Of course humans without dogs are also welcome

We will raffle off a few baskets of Labrador themed goodies and be available to chat with you about everything HOTLR. If you've ever been interested in volunteering, fostering or adopting this is the perfect laid back event to have your questions answered. Get some hands on experience with Labrador love too.

So, come on and join us!! Who could resist a few Labradors, refreshing drinks and good friends on a warm Austin Saturday evening. Pluckers' cool, relaxing patio and chicken wings await you!!! Check out Pluckers menu for some other good eats too!!! Hope to see you there!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Summer Time is Vacation Time...Take Your Dog with You This Year

Summer time is here again and that means it's time to catch up on some rest and relaxation. Vacation time!!! School is out, the heat it on. It's the perfect time for a change of scenery. The thought of leaving your furry friend behind got your draggin' your heels about making plans?

How about taking your dog with you this year? Might be cheaper than paying a dog-sitter or boarding your pet at a kennel. I bet your dog will certainly thank you. And think about how much lovelier your vacation photos will be with your four-legged friend in them. But how do you find out about dog friendly hotels, restaurants and beaches or walks?

Check out this website: Launced in April 2005, BringFido claims to have helped over a half million pet owners travel with their pets. They have recommendations for pet friendly hotels, condos, restaurants, dog friendly events and attractions etc. You can choose any destination in the world, type in the number of adults, children and pets you are traveling with and a choice of accomodations will pop up. Simply click on the link of the suggested hotels to check out their amenities, prices and get further information.

Still need help? No worries, a pet friendly travel agent is available by phone to help you plan the perfect vacation for your family and your pet. You can even use this number for special services such as locating the closest dog-friendly hotel in the current area, recommendations for a vet hospital in an unfamiliar town, etc. Post your vacations photos on the photo page, chat on a forum with other vacationers that travel with their pets, and sign up to receive info on discounts and coupons for pet friendly deals.

A recent search in the Austin area turned up over 75 hotels and 225 restaurants with pet friendly policies. As always please phone the restaurant or hotel directly to confirm the latest pet friendly rules.

Not sure how your pet will do on a trip? Take a short vacation close to home as a trial run. If you enjoy traveling with your dogs as much as I do, you may soon find that you never want to leave them behind.