Monday, March 30, 2009

A Day in a Dog's Life

This past weekend we attended A Night of Hope, a great fundraising event for The Tree House. My husband recently became involved with The Tree House, a wonderful nonprofit organization with the mission of reducing the impact and occurrence of child abuse, by volunteering to serve on the Board of Directors. A Night of Hope featured a catered dinner, silent auction and live auction to raise money for The Tree House. To contribute to the event, I put together this cute basket for the silent auction that I called "A Day in a Dog's Life":

I thought it would be fun to put together a collection of some of my favorite dog items (and I figured if no one else bid on the basket, then I could take it home!). Fortunately for The Tree House (and unfortunately for me) our good friends won the basket and now have a great collection of dog products for their new Golden Retriever puppy.

In case you want to put together a similar basket, here's a list of what I included:

- Gift Certificate for an XL Dog Bed Cover from Bow Wow Beds

- Ruff Wear Durable Gourdo Dog Toy from Backcountry K-9

- Ruff Wear Collapsible Travel Dog Bowl from Backcountry K-9

- Custom Dog Collar and Leash Set from Aroo Studio

- Chocolate Labrador Retriever 8 x 10 Print from K9 Art Gallery

- Set of 10 Dog Silhouette Note Cards and Matching Stickers from Brown Dog Boutique

- 2 Packages of Brady's Biscuits from Brown Dog Boutique

Brown Dog's First Giveaway!

As we get to the end of Brown Dog Boutique's first month of business, I thought it would be a great time to celebrate by having our first giveaway!

To participate, all you have to do is leave a comment to this post telling me your favorite dog breed and why that breed is your favorite. Your comment must be posted by 5 p.m. EST on Thursday, April 2 when I will randomly choose a winner from those who post a comment. The winner will be announced on Friday morning, April 3.

The lucky winner will receive a set of 10 of my new design your own dog silhouette note cards (like the ones shown above) featuring their favorite dog breed. Good luck!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Backcountry K-9

Those of you that have been following along with my blog for the last few weeks will remember that I've written several times about our upcoming camping trip and the great gear that we've been testing to get the boys ready. What you probably don't know (because I was saving this great secret until now) is where we get all of our camping gear. A few months ago my husband found Backcountry K-9, an awesome online store that features a great variety of camping and outdoor gear for dogs (and humans, too). We have made many purchases from Backcountry K-9, and I cannot say enough good things about their terrific customer service and great products.

I don't really need any additional reasons to recommend Backcountry K-9, but they gave me one anyway. As you know, the Humane Society of Jackson County is one of my favorite rescue organizations. To help out HSJC, Backcountry K-9 has offered a special coupon code that will directly benefit HSJC. Here's how it works...

Check out the great products at When you go to check out, use the coupon code 5HSJC to save 5% off your order and Backcountry K-9 will donate an additional 5% of your order directly to HSJC! How sweet is that?! You get a discount on incredible products AND the HSJC will get a donation!

Oh, and one more great thing - Backcountry K-9 offers FREE shipping on every order over $75!

Just a Few of My Favorite Things - Part 3

Top Row (from left to right):
- Tug-O-War Braid & Recycled Tennis Ball Toy by woofpurcreations
- Herbal Dog Shampoo Bar by GoodCleanDog

- Apple of My Eye Dog Collar by ScamperingScotties

Middle Row (from left to right):
- Polka Dog Collar by DogGoneKnitting
- Puppy Love - Glass Pebble Magnets by ksickles
- Glen Dog Placemat by TheModernPet

Bottom Row (from left to right):
- Framed Blue Dog on Sailboat by doghoundblues
- Barkin' Burgers by 3DogsAndAChick
- Design Your Own - Dog Silhouette Note Cards by browndogboutique

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Busy Boys!

The boys and I have been hard at work checking out fun and useful dog-inspired websites! You might have noticed that I just started a list of my favorite links (both dog-related and other) on the right side of my blog. The list contains just a few (I'm sure I have hundreds) of my favorite blogs, shops and websites that offer great advice, products and information, among other things including incredibly cute dog stories and photos :) Do you have any sites that I should visit? If so, please leave a link in the comments section of this post, and I'll take a look!

[Cooper after a long day at the office]

P.S. I have a feeling a Brown Dog Boutique giveaway will be coming soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pet-Friendly Travels...

My husband and I love to travel. The one thing we don't like when we travel is having to board our two chocolate labs while we're away. Brady & Cooper don't seem to mind (they see it as a vacation with their friends), and luckily, we have a great "doggie hotel" nearby called the Pets Inn Suites that we've used upon occasion. The added cost of almost $40 a day, however, doesn't help us stay within budget.

As an alternative to boarding the boys, I've recently started looking into various places that are "pet-friendly". Turns out there are a number of great websites that can help guide you in the right direction. For example, a town near and dear to me, Athens, Georgia, has a great website called "Athens Life Unleashed" that features a guide to "Pet-Friendly Athens." I guess this makes sense for Athens since it is, after all, home to the Georgia Bulldogs! Asheville, NC has a similar website that can be found here.

Do you know of any cities that offer similar guides and accommodations?

Brown Dog Goes Global!

Yay! Brown Dog Boutique got its first international order on Monday! These cute address labels (featuring a beautiful golden retriever) are going to Sweden today (Thanks PhotoTeresa :)

Remember that if I don't have your favorite dog breed listed in my shop, just let me know. I'd be happy to create a custom silhouette for you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Additions to My Shop!

After a nice weekend that made me feel like Spring has finally arrived, I was inspired to create a couple new designs for Brown Dog Boutique's online shop. If you're looking for a cute gift for a loved one with a spring birthday or are running low on your own stationery supply, come take a look! My latest designs include these note cards...

and these cute matching stickers...

I feature a number of bright, fun colors and tons of cute dog silhouettes. I've listed some of the most popular silhouettes in my online shop, but if you don't see the one you're looking for, let me know. I would love to create a custom silhouette for you! If you have any questions or custom requests, please send me an

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Pick Me!

I had a great time at the HSJC Adoption Event on Saturday. Not only did I get to play with many great dogs, I met a lot of wonderful people too. I took a pictures of a few of my favorites from the day. Please check out their photos and brief bios. If you're interest in adopting one of these sweethearts, please check out the HSJC website here or contact the HSJC at 706-367-1111.

Meet Delilah

Delilah is a gentle giant. She is an 8 1/2 year old pure bred German Shepherd who loves to play "hide & seek". She is well-behaved, loves kids and would make a great companion. For more information on Delilah, please click here.

Meet Sweetie

Sweetie is by far one of my favorites. I could hardly leave the event without taking her home myself. Sweetie is a 1 year old Lab mix who was found only a few days before she gave birth to a litter of puppies. The litter of puppies has been placed in good homes, and now Sweetie is looking for a home of her own. She is the most gentle, laid-back 1 year old I have ever met. She is perfectly content just sitting next to you, and she is very eager to please. For more information on Sweetie, please click here.

Meet Lylla

Lylla is one smart doggie! She won me over in less than two minutes. She loves to please, gives the sweetest kisses and will crawl right into your lap. Lylla is a 4-5 month old Lab mix with lots of love to give. She is crate-trained, knows a number of basic commands and would make a great family addition. For more information on Lylla, please click here.

Just a Few of My Favorite Things - Part 2

Top Row (from left to right):
- Dahlia Custom Dog Collar by pecanpiepuppies
- Treat Jar by UberDuperCreations

- Going Green - Adjustable Dog Collar by sugarplumcollars

Middle Row (from left to right):
- Doggie Leash Bag by BentleysBones
- Lab Dog Onesie by BellaBludesigns
- Personalized Canvas Dog Leash Hanger by dreaminggiggles

Bottom Row (from left to right):
- Skinny Green Stripes Dog Collar by 8PawsCollars
- Amy Butler Pet Bed - Acanthus by allingwelsh
- Couture Dog Collar - Amy Butler Print by jstephens13

Friday, March 20, 2009

Getting the Right Gear

In preparation for our upcoming camping trip, we bought each of the boys a pack about a month ago so that they could carry their own food & water. After a lot of research my husband ordered each of the boys a Palisades Pack (shown above) made by a great company called Ruff Wear. Actually, we ordered both the Approach Pack and the Palisades Pack to see which one we (and the boys) liked best. Both of the packs were great...made from durable material featuring lots of spacious pockets and plenty of padding to make the packs comfortable to wear. The pack attaches to a harness, so you can easily remove the pack when stopping for a swim or water break. Ultimately, we ended up choosing the Palisades Pack because it features two water bladders to make it easy to stop for a quick drink along the way.

To get the boys used to wearing the packs, we started taking them on walks with just the detachable harness. A leash easily attaches to a hook on the top of the harness to make walking even easier. After a few days with just the harness we added the packs for added weight, but didn't put anything in them just yet. At first, the boys seemed a little confused about why they couldn't walk as close to each other as they usually like to, but they adjusted pretty quickly. In fact, they seemed to have an added spring to their step and tried to pull us like they were part of a dog sled team. Last night we added water to their packs for added weight, and although Cooper tried to stay put at first, after a minute, he decided it wasn't so bad, and they both got moving pretty quickly. As long as the weather is nice, I'll take pictures this weekend of the boys in their official gear. In the meantime, I'll leave you with this cute picture that we took last year after their first bath...

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Backpacking with the Boys

Now that the weather is getting nicer, we are itching to take the boys on their first camping trip. We have taken them on a few hikes on the trails in the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve behind the Elachee Nature Science Center, and they loved it! The trails feature many creeks that Brady & Cooper love to run to for a quick cool down. They love to swim and go on walks, so I can only imagine how much they will love camping! When searching for a great spot for their first trip (one that's dog-friendly, a little bit challenging, but not too much for their adventure), I came across a great book called "Best Hikes with Dogs." The version I bought features trails in Georgia and South Carolina, but a quick search at Barnes & Noble found similar books for many other states as well. The authors have hiked thousands of miles with their yellow lab, Rebel, and they offer a ton of great tips for planning a fun and safe trip with your dogs. A must read for anyone considering backpacking with their boys (or girls :)

As of now, we have a backpacking weekend planned for the first part of April, so we'll be spending the next few weeks getting the boys in shape and outfitted for their trip. Cute pictures of the boys with their gear coming soon!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Adoption Event

Saturday is Adoption Day for the Humane Society of Jackson County! I have recently begun to volunteer with HSJC, and Saturday will be my first Adoption Day. The HSJC is an all-volunteer organization serving Jackson County, Georgia. Currently, the HSJC does not have a "bricks and mortar" facility, but they still manage to save hundreds of animals through an amazing network of volunteers, veterinarians and foster homes. For more information, please visit the HSJC website here.

If you live in or around Jackson County, Georgia and are looking to add to your family or just want to learn more about the HSJC, please consider stopping by. Just in case you need another reason to pay the HSJC a visit, I will be giving out free samples of Brady's Biscuits and Cooper's Fire Hydrant Cookies!

So here's the scoop...

What: HSJC Adoption Day
Where: In front of the Jefferson Kroger (off Highway 129)
When: Saturday, March 21 from 11am - 3pm

Monday, March 16, 2009

St. Patty's Day Special!

Happy St. Patrick's Day! In honor of St. Patty's Day and the recent opening of Brown Dog Boutique, I am having a special!

I am giving away a FREE gift with the purchase of one set of 10 Personalized Dog Silhouette Note Cards. With each purchase, get YOUR CHOICE of 1 package of Brady's Biscuits (small or large) or 1 set of 20 coordinating personalized return address labels. I will honor this special through Friday, March 20. Please take a look at my
shop...the note cards make a great gift, and I have lots of cute dog silhouettes to choose from (and if you don't see your dog, please let me know...I'm sure that I can create one for you).

Brady's Biscuits (your dog will LOVE them!)

My Second Treasury!

Awesome! Brown Dog Boutique made it into a second treasury this week! Check out the great selections in the "Puppy Love" treasury by TheRoyalDetails. Be sure to hurry though, the treasury expires Wednesday, March 18 at 6pm!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Just a Few of My Favorite Things - Part 1

Top Row (from left to right):
- Labrador Retriever Chocolate Lab by k9artgallery
- XL Big Dog Bed Cover by
- Board Room Top Dog collar by

Middle Row (from left to right):
- Kashmir Koda Dog Collar by aroostudio
- Lab Leash Holder by bumblebellydesigns
- Handpainted Small Jar by chiarashandpainted

Bottom Row (from left to right):
- Custom Super Duper dog tag by bynicola
- Light Blue and Brown Sport Martingale collar by GreytEscape
- Labrador Retriever art print by k9artgallery

Dirt Devils and Dust Bunnies...

Ok, so this post is not so much about dust bunnies (although we have more than our fair share of those in our house) as it is about cutting down on the amount of dirt that our boys drag into the house on a daily basis. Because we live in Georgia, we have lovely red clay instead of regular brown dirt, and an amazing amount of it somehow ends up all over our floors. In fact, sometimes I look out the door after the boys have been playing outside and see this...

There's no way that I can vacuum enough, so I'm looking for some kind of wonder product to help me out. I've been looking at these Water Trapper door mats from Orvis for some time now, but still can't decide whether it's worth it to shell out the money for the size we'd need to make it worth the purchase. Any thoughts on these mats? If you have one, please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think of it. I appreciate it!

Featured in a Treasury!

Happy Sunday! Only a week after beginning to list items in my new shop, Cooper's Fire Hydrant Cookies have been featured in a treasury! What a great surprise on a rainy Sunday.

Check out "Like a Dog's Dinner" to see great ideas for dogs & dog lovers...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Half-Birthday, Boys!

I thought it was only fitting that I start this blog today, on Brady & Cooper's half-birthday. Today, the boys are 1 1/2 and topping the scales at around 90 lbs each! Hard to believe when you look at these pictures...



...and then look at these (which were taken last summer after a day of swimming)...



But I am getting ahead of myself. Since this is my first post, let me back up. Welcome to The Brown Dog Boutique Blog! I hope to make this a fun place to share photos of our two brown dogs, the latest news from my shop, showcase great dog-related products that I come across, share news from my local humane society and anything else that pops into my head. Since I'll be sharing so much information, I guess you probably want to know a little about me first...

Here are the basics...I live in a small town in Georgia (some in Georgia may disagree about the size, but coming from a relatively big city in Virginia, it is very small) with my amazing husband and two rowdy chocolate labs, Brady & Cooper. I do have a day job, but it involves way too much reading and writing and not enough room for creativity, and I realized that I need an outlet to express what really interests me.

So what does interest me? Well, here's a short list...I love the summer, hot weather and being outdoors, preferably at the beach (however, I currently live at least 4 hours from the ocean, so I spend a large amount of time imagining I was there), my dogs, running, designing cute cards and invitations, spending time with friends and family and, most of all, my husband...I could go on and on, but then what would I write about later?

Long story short, over the past year I found an outlet for my creativity creating custom note cards and invitations and started a small business called, fittingly, Summer Day Designs. So why don't I have a Summer Day Designs blog? Well, I decided that my true passion lies with animals, dogs in particular, and I have a whole lot more to write about in this category, so here we are. Thanks for reading, and I hope you check back often!
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