Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Save the Pets 5K run/walk

Well, the Save the Pets 5k run/walk was a total blast. Our booth was right next to Bark Magazine who was conducting a "cover model" search, so we had the pleasure of seeing every aspiring pooch prancing by. A "flames" collar was featured on a gorgeous malamute in the fashion show event, and weatherdog Helmsley of local news KMTR stopped by for a pat and a cookie. All in all a fun day; we'll look forward to future events with Save the Pets.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


So, in the very most charming tradition of everything that can go wrong doing so, our cable internet connection is more or less non-existent at the moment. For the past week, we've had no more than a few minutes of connectivity at a time. I'm able to access my email very occasionally and receive orders in batches when the connection is live, so as far as I know there shouldn't be any serious delays in orders submitted through the website or through Raw Dog Etsy, but if you have emailed me in the last week and haven't gotten a response, please know I'm doing my best to respond to all messages as soon as possible--and please, absolutely feel free to call, my cell phone is going to be the absolute most reliable way of getting ahold of me until the issue is resolved. According to Comcast that may not be any time soon, so we've gone ahead and ordered a wireless setup and cards with which to equip all our personal and business computers. Turns out it's cheaper to do that than to pay Comcast to take care of their own installed wiring and equipment. Le sigh.

Meanwhile, we're looking forward with great excitement to the Save the Pets 5k Run/Dog Walk held at Alton Baker Park in Eugene. We'll be there bright and early; registration begins at nine and the walk begins at eleven. It's a good cause and should be a blast--if you're in the area, come by and say "hi"!


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Shoutout for photos!

One of the big upcoming projects is a series of updates to the site. The feedback page is starting to become a bit cumbersome, and I've still got a metric ton of photos and sweet feedback notes from all you awesome folks to add to it, so we're building a whole new feedback gallery featuring your awesome Raw Dogs sporting their gear. I figure this is a good time to send out a call for photos and a reminder: if you send us photos and feedback for the site, we'll give you 10% off your next piece of Raw Dog gear!

The other perpetual deal on offer is our "Raw Dog for Life" puppy collar discount. If you buy any puppy collar and send photos and feedback, you'll get 10% off any adult collar when the pooch is done sprouting.

Quite aside from the call for content, I do fully admit that I'm a tremendous dog geek and just enjoy dog pix--I love it when people pass along photos of their hounds when placing an order, it's nice to see who I'm working for!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Recent projects:

Oh man, fun stuff in the past few weeks! I've had the honor of working on some really great projects lately. You can click any of the photos for a larger image.

First, a cool tiger-stripey collar in the LSU colors, with stripe pattern pulled directly off the side of a tiger:

Next, a couple views of a sweet embroidered name collar with nods to the first national DACA Grand Champion trophy collar.
This piece features Mason's name embroidered on black calfskin and overlaid with a frame of boar tusks. Mason's collar is built with solid brass hardware secured with brass Chicago screws, and is lined in natural buckskin. His leash is custom-built to match and features a solid brass locking livestock clasp. This is a super classy collar--embroidery takes quite some time to arrange, but it's worth the wait!

The last piece I'm hankering to show off is a pretty variation on the stars and vines pattern commissioned through Raw Dog Etsy. This is a black collar with stars and vines set in a royal-blue deerskin overlay. It's lined in an unbelievably gorgeous charcoal-gray shearling lamb.

Thanks a million to all involved! I really enjoy doing custom work--it's a real pleasure to help bring someone's perfect piece of gear to life.
Cheers! ;0)

Friday, August 1, 2008

News and stuff

Well, here we are, wrapping up an absolutely manic period of activity, and boy do we have some catching up to do!

Let's see...

First things first. In the falconry world: despite high hopes and set-teeth determination, I made several trapping attempts over the first few weekends with the hope of trapping a late 2007 passage bird, but didn't see a single juvenile in the entire Willamette valley over several weekends. By that, I mean zero. None. Shortly thereafter, the nesting period was in full-swing, and so a break was taken to allow the young nestlings to fledge and start learning to hunt.

I got a phone call from my sponsor a few weeks ago, about a crazily-colored recent fledgling near her house. I immediately threw my trapping kit in the car and flew down there to make an attempt at him. We hiked out to where she'd seen him earlier; he had swooped low over her horse, while she was out riding, so it's encouraging that he's not terribly skittish about people. We threw the trap in a little clearing near the top of the hill, moved back a bit to keep from crowding the trap, and set about looking for him. We could hear him calling, but because we're on a hill, sounds bounce and it can be really difficult to pinpoint the source of a call. Finally, after about a half-hour, he showed up in a soar out over the valley, a good three hundred feet up and circling. We know there is a pair of nesting adults in the area, but baby calls are very distinctive and frequent, and because he's so weirdly light colored, we could tell that it was the bird we were looking for.

We watched him circle and call for a few minutes, and after only a short while, he stooped the trap from the soar! This was really a cool thing to see--from that high up, waaaaaay out over the valley, he spotted the tiny little trap and made a pass at it. It seems he's still pretty naive, as he landed in a snag directly above the trap and made "mama, feed me!" calls for the next twenty minutes. He knew there was food there, but either wasn't sure what to do about it, or wasn't confident enough to take a shot at it.

We hung out for a while, and eventually my sponsor had to split for another appointment. Oregon law requires apprentices fly a bird "wild-trapped under the direct supervision of their sponsor", so I was obliged to pack it in for the day. Since then we've made several more attempts at him, but though I've tried being there at dawn, dusk, and midday, I've yet to manage to spot him again when he's actively hunting. The trapping itself isn't terribly difficult, the tricky part is being at the right spot, at the right time. But! We'll keep at it, he's only got another few weeks before he's likely to be chased from the nest site, so it's a small window I have to trap him before he lights out for other territory.

In other news, business is rockin'! Upcoming August events where you can come visit us include the Save the Pets Paws for a Cause 5k fun run and dog walk at Alton Baker Park in Eugene on August 24th, and the Dogo Argentino Club of America 2008 national specialty show in Hutto, Texas the following weekend.

That Paws for a Cause event should be a total blast--there are going to be a bunch of great local vendors there, and a sea of waggly tails. I'm also really, really looking forward to the DACA specialty--old friends, dogos, and BBQ, I am totally beside myself that we're able to arrange to go this year. We missed the 2007 specialty, but made a road trip of it the year before, and it was the best vacation we ever had. This year I'm flying in myself instead of driving, and hoping to meet up with some sweet pet boutiques in Austin while I'm there. If anyone has any good suggestions for shops to check out, I'd love to hear!

We've made some new friends this past month, so here's an official shout-out to Sid, Dorinda, and Heather at LibertyBank. There are a few major business and personal principles we here at Raw Dog hold close to heart, and after having interviewed quite a number of financial institutions with the intent of moving our business to a more commercially-oriented bank, we are awfully proud to have hooked up with this fine bunch of folks. I can't say enough how pleased I am, not only with what LibertyBank has to offer me and my business in a banking sense, but in a personal sense as well. Big things are on our horizon and they've worked awfully hard to help us make it happen. If you're in the market for a new bank, give them a call and tell them we sent you. ;0)