Saturday, November 30, 2013

Doggie Downer

These days don't happen often for me. Most days, I think my dogs are the "bee's knees." They are my comfort, a source of laughs and companionship, but today...oh, today was not a good doggie day.
It's probably all my perception of things-technically I was feeling a bit temperamental-but they were driving me nuts.
The morning started off by Otis waking me up over and over again before five AM. It would appear that he could not find a comfortable position, so he decided that getting out of the covers, back under the covers, acting like he was going to puke on me and settling back on top of my legs was all a great idea. The final time he climbed back out of the blankets I gave up and went down to find myself some breakfast. It was 20 minutes after five and I wasn't appreciative of the hour. I ate a doughnut for breakfast-talk about succumbing to instant gratification-It still made me feel better. I like mornings, but I gave up 5 AM when I retired from swimming. It was a happy day when I realised I didn't have to be up at 4:30 to be on the pool deck a mere 45 minutes later. So, needless to say, I was not a happy camper.
The rest of the morning was fine. Everyone behaved nicely. Breakfast went off without a hitch and relieve time was good. After I fed them though, I decided that I needed to take a nap. I was supposed to ski in the afternoon and I was really feeling exhausted. So, I herded everyone upstairs and the doggie problems started again.
Otis wasn't so sure he wanted to nap. He did eventually settle in, but it was Hermione's turn to test my already thin and tired patience. She started off fine, but just as I fell asleep, she jumped off the bed and began squawking. She had had some water and although she had already been out, I ran her out again. I took Otis too since he seemed a bit shifty. He certainly had to go. Back upstairs, under the covers and Hermione hopped down again. In complete frustration, I let her out of the bedroom and went back to sleep. She started barking downstairs in the living room. Then, she wanted back in. Door open, enter princess we go to sleep.
After nap time, I send everyone out while I sucked my lunch down as fast as possible. I had missed my coach's phone call while trying to nap and I needed to be ready to go out skiing. Before that happened, however, a person from the CNIB (an organisation that provides various helpful and not so helpful services to blind people) stopped by to discuss my business plan with me. The whole time she was in our house, the dogs were ridiculous. They were jumping, whining, play fighting...I don't think I've ever seen them behave so badly. So, I opened the back door and sent them all out to battle outside. After a brief meeting, it was time to get quickly dressed for skiing. The dogs have learned that my ski clothes mean I'm leaving and Hermione was bouncing around like a crazy person squawking at the top of  her lungs. When my coach knocked on the door to announce his arrival, all Hell broke loose-barking, jumping twirling.
On top of the dogs' crazy antics, Rufio got in trouble too. He chewed through one of Mr. K's computer cords which didn't work until Mr. K performed some kind of crazy computer magic on it. Then, Sir Kitten decided that knocking one of my ferry statues on to the ground was a fun game. There are little shattered fairy bits sitting on my dresser now. I'm saving them to see if we can't glue it back together, but it looks pretty splintered.
When I got home from skiing the dogs were a bit better. Maybe it was because I was in a much better mood or perhaps they had made themselves tired acting like idiots when CNIB woman was here. I fed them dinner, put them out and although Hermione barked a bit when she was out there, it wasn't too bad. I know something is up because Nala and Roscoe were chasing each other around the yard like their butts were on fire. Our yard isn't very big and they normally don't run in it. I know they are due for a leash free run for sure which I'll have to make sure happens sooner rather than later. All I can say is that I'm thankful that they are all now  sleeping soundly in a puppy pile on the couch, with me squished in the middle.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Doggie Bakery Progress

As the title of this post would suggest, my little doggie business is starting to take form. It's still all beginning stages stuff-I don't even have my website up and running yet-but it's coming along. I really enjoy putting the baskets together or baking the cookies. The creative things are what I look forward to, but the business plan writing is such a drag. However, it's a necessary evil that needs to get done. I know I'm not alone whenI say "I hate paperwork," and I'll have to get used to it.
I have another vender show coming up in December and I'm hoping to establish a few more clients. I have my product list ready. NOw all I need to do is start baking. There has to be a balance though-I can't start too soon or the treats won't be fresh and will go bad too soon since they are preservative free. But, if I leave everything to the last minute, I'll be up all night and probably won't get everything done.
I have a few fun ideas for decorating some of the cookies and Mom and I are even going to build a doggie gingerbread house to raffle off. Well, as long as it turns out.
I also got the great news today that Dublin Dog Co. is letting me be a dealer for them. I'm so excited because they have some of the most amazing products. The "no stink" collars are fabulous and will be the first thing i order in. I really like this company not only because their products are fabulous, but because they are huge supporters of shelters/rescues and service dog programs. It's great to be able to be associated with a company whose core values line up so closely with mine. I've had a hard time picking what to order since everything is great. I'm like a kid in a candy shop. The Rep. I am dealing with has been great though and is sending me a "mock" order to help me narrow things down. So, on top of their great products and amazing social awareness, they also have great customer service. How could you possibly ask for more?
With that I'll leave you-I have more browsing to do. ;)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sea, Land and Tires: On Skis

Sea, Land and Tires: On Skis: It would appear that Old Man Winter is on my side. At least, this year, I consider him dumping 3 to 4 inches of snow on us as being on my si...

Monday, November 18, 2013

My Traveling Bumble Bee

Nala is my third guide dog. We've been together for about nine months now and she's already moved across an ocean. One of my friends in Scotland once compared her love for her work to that of a "worker bee" and ever since then, I've called her "my little bumble bee." She kind of buzzes about like one too, with all of her energy, and so the nickname suits in that way too. For the most part, I've known what situations my dogs, old and new, can handle.
Jetta, my first girl, took all of the changes in stride and never batted an eyelash when we boarded a plane and ended up in a new place for the second or third time in a month. Nala and Jetta's work ethic are similar in that way-they both loved working and embraced whatever challenge I've set in front of them.
Glacier, my second dog, was never suited to change right from the beginning. We had a rocky start and our working relationship continued to be unstable. Notice how I said "working relationship?" As a non-working dog, he was just perfect and I knew that no matter how much training, re-training or re-anything we did was not going to help him be comfortable with working; especially working in an ever changing environment. He was much better suited to pet life. He traveled as well, not quite to the extent that Jetta did, but he technically moved countries twice. However, we didn't travel in the way that I did with Jetta when I was competing.
This long and slightly rambling introduction is supposed to lay the foundation for my real reason for writing today. Nala's enthusiasm for her work is about to be put to the test.
The last couple of weeks or so, I've been working on one of my latest adventures. I've blogged about it over at my other blog, but since it's sports related, I didn't want to bore everyone here with the details. Basically, I've been looking into starting cross country skiing at a competitive level. I'm not sure if I'm any good at it, but I've been building up my fitness the last month and have managed to nail down a guide or two as well as a potential coach. Since this year is a Olympic/Paralympic year, I figured I'd have a year to get some snow time to see whether or not I should even consider pursuing a competitive career in cross country skiing. But, as we all know,  rarely do things go as planned. Within the course of two weeks, I had been asked to attend a training camp which then moved to me racing as well. So, on December 5th, Nala and I will be hopping a plane out to Alberta to participate in sed training camp and then I'll have my race only a few short days later. There's a lot more to it, but if you want to read about it, you can over at "Sea, Land and Tires."
It's been so long since I traveled as a part of a sports team and with a working dog that I'm a little bit nervous. Excited of course is the majority of my emotional state right now, but traveling with Jetta had become so habitual that I don't really remember how I worked out some of the logistics. Isn't it funny that the skiing part isn't really bothering me even though I haven't skied in over twenty years? I'm not worried about Nala having difficulties adjusting to working in a new place. I'm sure as soon as her paws hit the ground in Alberta, she'll be ready to go. What I'm concerned with are things like:
Where will she go when I'm training? Jetta used to just stay on the pool deck, tied to a bench or lane rope roller. Nala can't just be tied to a tree in the middle of winter in Alberta. I'm sure we'll find a place for her to stay in the ski lodge, but then that leads me to my next concern.
Will she drive someone nuts with her whining? She has a small amount of separation anxiety and whines if I leave her. She did this when the trainer left her with me the first day. Jetta never whined. I can combat her boredom with a Kong stuffed with something...peanut butter? Kong stuffing? Which will be easier to transport?
Apparently there is going to be a service dog there as well. Perhaps they can hang out together? Then again, it's a coach's dog, so maybe the coach will need the dog and keep him/her with them? (I am totally over thinking these things which is what I do when I'm nervous).
Then my brain turns to packing. Not only am I  unsure what to pack for me, but I am torn on bringing certain items for Nala.
Should I bring her boots? She's never worn them before, will she wear them? Maybe we should practice before we get there?
Will she need a winter coat? That depends on how cold it's going to be and how much time she's going to spend outside.
Once we're there, where will the relieving area be? Will I be able to find the garbage bin after she "goes?" Another thing to remember to pack...poop bags!
What about her food? Pack it or would someone be able to just run and buy a small bag so that precious suitcase space/weight isn't taken up with dog food?
What about her bed? She's always slept on a bed/blanket/mat. She settles better if she has a "spot." A good and bad thing that she was trained on. It's good because if I put a mat out and tell her "bed" she goes there and settles there. However, if a blanket/mat/bed isn't available, she's restless. Two things about Jetta made this a non-issue. First, she wasn't as high maintenance. She didn't need a Kong stuffed with yummy goodness to keep her occupied while I wasn't available. She was content to just watch me practice or hang out under the massage therapist's table if I was competing. Second, she slept on the bed with me and so the bed problem was non-existent.
As I said above, I'm definitely over thinking this whole thing. Some of my concerns are legitimate, like food transport, but a lot of the other things can be solved with some creative thinking if an issue arises. I think my nervousness about going to this camp is just manifesting in my guide dog concerns because it's something I know and can control. The whole thing is quite new and I don't know what to expect. I don't even know what clothes I'm supposed to wear during a race or training. How do you transport your skis/poles on the plane? Is it like my tappers for swimming that were put in the "awkward baggage" section? I'm going somewhere I've never been, with someone I hardly know, with athletes I don't know at all and with a new guide dog. I'm participating in a sport that I hardly know anything about and I'm going to race in this sport. My only expectation for that race is to finish it in one piece. Despite all of that, I'm very much looking forward to going and I am so grateful that I've been given this opportunity and even though I'm nit picking about her boots/coats/Kong Etc, I'm grateful that my little Bumble bee gets to come with me.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Follow Your Nose

As an update to my last post, I'd like to say that Hermione and Roscoe's nose work sessions have been going very well. I've been impressed with both of them and have found it challenging working with each dog. It's been easier for me to know when Roscoe is ready to move ahead and how far to push him. Hermione is a little harder to gauge, but if I've moved beyond what she's ready for, I just go back to something that is easy for her and try again. They both love it. They are starting to know when we're getting ready to do nose work training and both get very excited. Roscoe always goes second, since Hermione needs to release her energy first, and I can hear him upstairs, padding about and whining while he waits for his turn. 
After our second session, I began to worry that I was ignoring Nala and since my last working relationship didn't go all that well, I am a bit hyper vigilant about making sure Nala and I get our own time. I started thinking that I had to find a way to work some kind of training or working session in with her as well, but I don't want her learning nose work. The last thing I need is a "nosy" guide dog. So, on my third session, I took her down to the big empty room in our basement first and worked with her on basic obedience. I also took her whistle down and did some recall from sit and down stays. Then, I threw her squeaky pig for her for a while. This kept her from whining too much when I was working with the other two. So, I think I'll keep doing this with her.
Hermione has advanced a bit since our first day. She can locate our treasure box under objects and at levels above her head that are about knee level or mid-thigh on me. Anything higher and she can't quite find it yet. She's using her nose more-I hear more sniffing-but I let her see me moving the box around. From where I tie her to the door knob, she can't always see where I am in the room, but she can hear me and I think that helps. She's also started to sit when she finds the box. Sometimes I have to lure her or remind her, but sitting to alert to a scent is the next step. So, when she started offering it on her own for some of the scents, I began having her sit at every spot that she finds. If she's going to offer me the behaviour, I might as well encourage it and make sure she does it consistently. I really need to get a harness for her since she gets so excited now, she runs on her back paws, unless she remembers to sniff the ground. I think she's doing a lot of air scenting. However, I laid kibbles at random intervals which forced her to sniff the ground. From what I've read, dogs need to do both. So, I won't discourage the air scenting, but want to help her use her ground scenting as well.
As for Ranger Roscoe: he's advanced a lot. He was air scenting a lot too so I laid the random kibble trail for him a few times too. It seemed to show him that he could do both because after that I heard a lot more ground sniffing. He needs a harness too because the leash/collar combination seems to be getting in his way. The leash being attached too close up to his face accidentally re-directs him a bit and restricts his movement somewhat. That probably could be helped by using a longer leash, however, I need to be close to him for now in order to be able to "see" what he's doing.
So far, he is able to locate the treasure box under things, behind things, tucked into corners, up on shelves that are about chest level, all while not watching me place the box. As our last trick yesterday, I took the box completely out of the room we've been working in and hid it in a different room; tucked between the washing machine and dryer. I left it sticking out a bit so that he could see it. At first, he ran about the room that we've been working in, despite the door being open. As he got closer to the open door, I said, "find" in a more excited voice. I sort of leaned my body towards the door, but didn't walk myself that way. I don't know if it was the body movement or if his nose picked up the box, but he dashed for the door and began sniffing around frantically. Within a matter of seconds, he had found the box. I wasn't sure if I had pushed him too far at first, but obviously not because he found the box in less than three minutes. It was pretty amazing and exciting to watch him go from searching mode, to a little confused, to sniffing and searching again. The sheer joy that showed through his entire body wagging when he found the box was so nice to see.
I don't really know why I didn't think of doing this with them before. I really didn't have the room, but now I do and I'm so glad we're doing it. I think soon I'll be able to move away from "cookie smell" to actually training Roscoe on specific scents. Hermione may stay on cookies for a while longer and she may not be ready to leave our "sniffing" room as quickly as Roscoe has, but working with her is just as enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Nose Work

Since my wee Spaniel is always so busy, I'm always trying to find ways to keep her business more productive. I've toyed with the idea of agility because she is, well, quite agile, but I haven't quite figured out how I would do that without some sighted assistance. I've done basic obedience with her, but she gets bored quickly and quite frankly, so do I. That's not to say I shouldn't work with her on the basics because we all know that she needs some work. However, I needed to find a way to work basic obedience into a fun activity we could do together. Not to mention, it needed to be an activity that would burn off some of her excess energy. My "ahah!" moment came  when my mom was telling me a sad story about a woman whose dog had been hit by a car and run away. The woman was doing everything in her power, including calling in a "sniffer" dog to try and track down her beloved pooch. I don't know the outcome, but it got me thinking: "why not try that with Hermione?" I'm not saying she would ever be good enough to find someone's missing dog, or child for that matter, but she's got the hunting instincts and it would be a way to put her nosiness to good use.
So, after searching ceaselessly for hours on this beautiful thing we call the internet, I found an article that explains how to get started in nose work in a very straight forward, easy to understand manner. It took some digging because a lot of the information is held by a specific organisation that oversees nose work competitions. They give you options of holding workshops or hiring a trainer, but I'm just trying to get started and needed an inexpensive way to do so. I'm not sure I did it properly, but we tried it for the first time today and it was a lot of fun.
The article instructs you to find a desirable object and hide it in a box for your dog to find. There are variations of this step, all involving leaving the box open, letting the dog see the object, only having one box out, always using the same box Etc. So, I thought of the smelliest thing that Hermione loves most and came up with peanut butter. I took four boxes of varying sizes down into our basement and put the peanut butter into one of them. I left the lid open on the box as well as the peanut butter to help Hermione smell the tasty goodness. I hooked her leash over a door knob so she could watch me set everything up. I also placed the treasure box the furthest on the left so that she would not have to wade through the other boxes to find the one I wanted. The article says you can do this activity on and/or off leash, but I chose on leash to ensure I knew exactly where she was so I could praise appropriately.
I had her sit and then gave her release cue. She sprang to her feet, but wasn't exactly sure what I wanted. Rufio was playing with a ball in the same room and she was initially distracted by the toy. The article tells you not to "show" or "lead" your dog; you want them to figure it out on their own. This was a challenge for me as all I wanted to do was point at the box or take her over and tap it for her. But, really that's not training, that's patterning; not useful in this situation. She put it very well when she said,
"you want the dog to think you need them to do the work."
That makes sense. In sniffing trials or in search and rescue, the handler doesn't direct the dog-the dog does all of the work. That said, since the cat was an unexpected distraction, I slowly wandered myself towards the line of boxes and it only took her a split second to realise that the boxes were interesting. She pulled without hesitation to the box housing the coveted prize. I praised her and stuffed one of my home made treats into her mouth. we did this five more times, me having her sit and wait in an opposite corner to the box and then releasing her, before I moved the box. I only mixed it up a bit and she found it without hesitation again. I then took the box over to the mini trampoline that I have in the room and put it up on top; all the while letting her watch me. The article says that letting the dog watch in the beginning is good. You want to make it easy for them to succeed; as with any training activity.
She almost missed the box on the trampoline, but spun quickly and circled back. I haven't quite decided if she's using her nose yet or just her eyes, but I guess time will tell.
We went through the whole cookie I had been breaking off as reward and I gave her a bit of peanut butter at the end. I was really impressed with her problem solving skills. When she went to a box that wasn't the one I wanted, she started searching for the right one. I didn't say "no" or point or anything; just stood quietly until she dashed off to the right spot. She only got a reaction from me if she found what I wanted. Eventually, we'll put a word to this behaviour, but for now, it's all about letting her think for herself and being comfortable and confident to do so.
Tomorrow, we'll continue; probably running through the same sequences as today. It's better to make sure she gets it right and build up her confidence before moving on.
I'm not sure if the activity wore her out or if she has food coma from eating her reward cookie, but she's currently curled up beside me, snoozing away.
Since the "nose work" was such a success with Hermione I decided to try Roscoe. It would be interesting, I thought, to go from a young dog who realistically has no training to a dog who was taught to think for himself from puppyhood.
The difference was definitely there.
I only did the box in the corner with Roscoe twice instead of five times because he nearly dragged me there. He also nearly destroyed the box in his enthusiasm. I moved the box around, hiding it in the middle of other boxes and he found it. I put it up on the trampoline and he found it. I even placed another box beside it on the trampoline, crowding the treasure box, and although he stopped to examine the "dud" box, he moved quickly on to the right one. I then took the peanut butter out of the original box and stuck it into another one and put the lid on to the peanut butter jar. Apparently, you're not supposed to do this in the beginning because you don't want to contaminate all of your boxes with your scent, but it seemed too easy for him. I didn't need to worry: he found that one as well. As his last challenge, I tucked the box away from the others into a kind of makeshift closet. I let him watch me as I had with everything else. This one was the only one that made him stop to think. He started sniffing about then started hopping about when I didn't react to his investigations. Then, quite suddenly, he hurtled, me attached by the leash, to the closet and shoved his head in, his whole body wagging.
It was so amazing watching how each dog worked out problems differently, progressed differently, and yet they both seemed to enjoy it so much. I will repeat our routine tomorrow with Roscoe as well and only change things up when he seems to be ready to move on.
I really enjoyed myself and the dogs seemed to as well. I think it's something we'll stick with. I can't wait to see what I will eventually be able to hide and where.
Who knows, maybe one day, I'll be able to send Roscoe off from the basement up to the top floor to find Mr. K. If we get to that point, I'm putting him in a competition.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

My Strange and Wonderful Spaniel Part 899: Re-Postie

I don't know what happened to my last post. It's like it just stopped typing half way through. The weird thing was that my computer kept talking to me. So, I thought that I had written the whole post. The whole point of that post was to paint you a picture of how cute Hermione was when she was asking for her breakfast.
Basically, she squawked at me as I sat down to eat breakfast. It was a squawk I had never heard from her before and so I went to investigate. I found her on the couch, sitting in the most perfect sit stay I have ever seen, with her breakfast bowl resting at her paws. She looked like a little Cavalier King Charles Spaniel statue. It was the cutest thing ever!
However, since my computer decided, or perhaps it's Blogger's fault,  not to record my whole account, I've given you the abbreviated version. Wee Hermione, breakfast bowl, obedience show ring sit stay. Stinking adorable.
Believe me, the first post was much better. ;)

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

My Strange and Wonderful Spaniel Part 899: It's Breakfast Time

There never seem to be enough words to describe Her Royal Highness Hermione Sophia. Just when I think I've figured her out, she does something new that usually leaves me either scratching my head in wonderment or doubled over in laughter. This morning's antics was one of those times where I found myself holding my sides because they hurt from laughing.
Last night was a bit of a late night for me. I find whenever I go to bed later and wake up later, I'm a bit grumpy. So when I woke up this morning, I was quite groggy and a bit cranky. My mood did not improve upon hearing the rain pouring down on the roof. The rain meant a cold 25 minutes of me convincing everyone to do their business, despite the river of water flowing past their paws. We've had a lot of rain recently, much more than we normally get, and the ground is so saturated that it just can't absorb anymore. To be honest, I'd rather it just snow already.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Shop Till You "Drop"

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, Tenie's birthday party took place this past Saturday. Since I was the main organiser, there were a few things I needed to pick up and Dad was my willing driving victim Saturday morning.
He picked Nala and I up just after 10 and we made our way to the Dollar store where I picked up a few items, such as tiny cups and candles, for the party. We weren't long in the store and were soon off to our next stop, Food Basics. For those of you who don't know, Food Basics is a usually inexpensive grocery store. You can buy pretty much everything from there, but I tend not to get their meat. The quality is a bit questionable. We spent some time in that store, browsing for items on my list and price checking. We were still going to stop at Walmart, so I wanted to check prices before buying things.
I picked out a few things for our mini pizzas and then we headed up to Walmart. As we hopped back into the truck, Nala let out a small whine, but I thought nothing of it. She's a pretty vocal dog and I thought that perhaps she had seen another dog or was just protesting our return to the vehicle so soon.
When we got to Walmart, Dad had to circle around in order to find a parking spot. It was quite busy and eventually we had to park way at the back of the lot. There were shoppers everywhere and I took Dad's arm to be guided across the parking lot. Nala was kind of prancing at the end of her leash, but I thought that she was just excited to be out. Maybe the crowded place had her a bit over stimulated?
We headed through the automatic doors and her prancing continued and still I just assumed it was because of all of the people. We continued on into the store and she began walking even more strangely. Since I was holding her leash instead of her harness handle, it was difficult to determine what she was doing, but it felt like she was sniffing and being overly distracted. I corrected her, but she kept acting strangely. As I went to correct her again, I realised that she was hunkering down and shuffling her back paws. That's when it hit me: she had to go!
In complete panic mode, I spun around back towards the door and said more calmly than I felt, "She needs to go outside."
Dad got the hint and immediately began guiding me to the door, but Nala kept dropping her bum and trying not to walk. Having had a guide dog who used to protest pooh I was not prepared to go through that humiliation again and in an act of utter panic, I picked her up and carried all 65 LBS of her out the door.
"You will not poop in Walmart." I told her as I hefted her into my arms, her back legs dangling and my arms wrapped around her middle. All Dad could do was put his hand on my back and steer me, arms full of giant Golden dog, back to the automatic doors and out. I'm fairly sure we made quite the spectacle, blind woman hauling her guide dog fully dressed in its gear, through a store. Dad even said hi to a few other shoppers, who I presume were staring at us.
Once out the doors, I set her down and she managed to hold it until we walked a few feet to a grassy spot.
She must have been desperate because I've never had her almost go indoors before; not even when she had an upset tummy and actually was ill for about 24 hours. It's my fault because I didn't relieve her before we left the house. I had assumed she was good because she had already went just an hour before embarking on our little shopping trip.
Needless to say, next time we go out, I will make sure I give her the opportunity to go, regardless of how recently she's went. And, if she ever starts prancing strangely again, I will know what that means.
Oh, the joys of working with a new dog. At least it's always good for a laugh. :)

Monday, November 04, 2013

A Shameless Plug

It's been much too long since I've blogged, but things have been a bit busy. Tenie's birthday is tomorrow and so I planned her birthday party for this past Saturday. With help from her mom, my parents, Mr. K and Lindsay, her party turned out really well. Since we call her "Tenie" I decided to throw her a "tiny" party. Everything at her party was in miniature. We had tiny cookies, tiny pizzas, tiny balloons, tiny mar"tinies," tiny brownies for her cake, tiny cups for drinks and I even made her a tiny crown out of jewellery wire. On top of that, I've been working on a project that I've held near and dear to my heart for quite a while. It's something I've wanted to do for a while now and so I'm testing the waters.
I've started, in an unofficial capacity, my dog bakery.
When Lindsay found out I was moving home, she asked me if I wanted to be in a vender show; kind of like a fall market. I said yes and baked my butt off, again with a lot of help, and had blankets, tug toys and a lot of different treats made. The turn out for the market was kind of poor, but I learned quite a bit about my cookies and I got a few new ideas.
So, since then, I've been busy researching, writing a business plan and looking for some kind of financial backing to get started.
In the mean time, I've written up my menu and product list and I'm happy to say that my Christmas menu has been launched. I won't put it up here because then this wouldn't be a "shameless plug" any longer. However, if anyone is interested in just taking a peak at what "Furdemonium" has to offer, email me at:
furdemonium at gmail . com
And, I'd be more than happy to send you the menu. (We ship).
My website and Facebook page aren't up yet, but those are my next steps. Mom took some nice photos at the vender show, so once the Facebook page is up and running I'll put those up. I'm also hoping that customers whose dogs enjoy our products, whether it's the treats or the beds, send us photos so we can put them up as well. Nala, Otis, Hermione and Roscoe are our shameless taste testers and everyone seems to be quite happy so far. Mr. K even tried one of the cinnamon buns I made and he said it was surprisingly tasty. Perhaps I should list him as one of the Official Taste Testers?
So, really that's where I've been. I have a story about Nala in Walmart that I must share, but I'll save that for tomorrow.