Wednesday, April 29, 2009

We Love a Rave and a New Shop We're Featured In!

We love fan mail:
"Hello Shannon and Fiona,
Roxy wanted me to tell you thank you so much for the lovely collar. She loves the high heels all over it! She said it realy brings out her innerdiva. She seems to like the girly collars more than when I try and stick her in a dress. I can honestly say thet both Roxy and myself think these are the cutest and most well made collars we have seen. I love that they are non generic! Everything these days is so assembly line and not very special. Thank you for being so creative! xoxo, Lisa and Roxy of Dog of Hudson

If anybody is visiting the scenic upstate New York region please stop in to our latest vendor "Dogs of Hudson" and tell Lisa and Erica and all the pooches hello! Located in gorgeous Hudson, New York on the East Bank of the Hudson River in Columbia County, you are sure to fall in love. This is one of those quaint little towns that you hope nobody else discovers! The wonderful folks at Dogs of Hudson provide play groups, group classes, agility training, private lessons and more. As if their facility could not get any more fabulous it is in an old cigar factory they've renovated to meet all the needs a dog center would have. They also are keeping it green by providing heat and cooling via solar panels. This is the type of establishment that Fiona is proud to have her products featured in! Stop by the shop to see what classes are going on or to pick up some great training products or healthy dog snacks. Tell Roxy the resident doggie maven that Fiona sent you!
Dog of Hudson
355 Warren Street
Hudson, New York

(518) 822-8242

Saturday, April 25, 2009

My New Favorite Thing

Yes, you know you've gone dog-gone wackadoodle when a dog product brings such joy into your life you question how sad and boring your life must really be! Hence I am here to rave about the highlight of my week...the Kurga Back Seat Barrier. It retails for $59.95 and I would have paid twice that for the magic of keeping a crazy setter contained to the back seat.
Oh just use a doggie seat belt the normal dog guardian would say. Those who share their lives with setters understand that no normal seat belt will contain all that is "happy setter enthusiasm". Standard seat belts end up in contorted puzzles of nylon and plastic buckles that take longer to get unraveled than the actual drive time. My dogs have put themselves in positions with them that would impress most yoga teachers. Also part of our drive time includes my setters barking/howling at any moving object outside the car while alternately looking out every window and also trying to sit on my lap. They routinely do a 32 point search for anything edible that may be lodged under or between a seat. There is lots of shedding and blowing of dog snot on all interior windows. It's not a calming Sunday afternoon drive by any means. I laugh when my groomer innocently suggests bringing all 3 dogs at the same time for an appointment. If she ever drove with just one of them she'd know how suicidal this suggestion is.
One time in Dugan's youth after several car trips with him raised my blood pressure to unhealthy levels I purchased several devices to keep him put. I had him strapped into a shearling dog harness car belt along with his Gentle Leader head harness connected to a leash tethered to a cargo strap. I was feeling rather smug that I was driving without a dog knocking the gear shift into neutral due to front-seat-back-seat-front-seat jumping. Then I looked to my left at a stop light and saw the horrified expression of the motorist next to me staring at Dugan. I glanced in the backseat and quickly realized my Dugan with his back rigidly upright against the seat and leader around his snout resembled a canine Hannibal Lector in his elaborate restraint system.
So the Kurgo is quite a coup to driving without a dog resembling a serial killer maniac. I simply hook my pooch to a regular slip dog seat belt and commence driving. There is no front-seat-back-seat pogo-ing! Heavenly. I'll take my happiness anywhere I can find it thank you and this little number does the trick. (for your own slice of joy you can purchase one for your crazy pooch at

Friday, April 24, 2009

This Week's Official Friend of Fiona is... Teddy!

Oh goodness gracious...what a picture! Here is Teddy in Central Park. The leaves are starting to sprout a fresh shade of green, the mulch is freshly strewn. Ahhhh, spring. Take it all in.
Teddy looks dashing as always in his 1.5 wide custom width Seamus collar by Lucky Fiona. Not too clear in this shot, but trust me he is wearing it. (and wearing it well one might add)
We're naming him this week's Official Friend of Fiona because we want to be in Central Park to watch watch a New York spring unfold. Sigh. So jealous.
Teddy tell that Dogmom of yours to email us with your choice of a free custom collar for being this week's winner! That is if she can drag your bum out of the mulch long enough.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Facebook Winner Update: Koopa Shows Off his Lucky Fiona Style

Oh Koopa, we don't know what we love about you more...that sleek doxie body or that wise look in your eye. Either way we're so happy to see your follow up pictures from our Facebook Friend of Fiona Photo contest. Koopa is seen here sporting his winning collar "The Carter LeDeux Part Deux" and we think he looks fantastic. Koopa is so cool he didn't even take us up on our offer of a free custom leash to go with the collar because "Koopa don't use no stinkin' leash!" So we donated one to a local shelter instead. Keep checkin' Facebook's Friend of Fiona Group - we'll have more deals and contests for our friends there as we enter the month of May.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Girly-Boy Dogs of the World Unite!

Let me start off by saying I am not a man-basher. I adore my husband. He is a wonderful human being but he has a peeve that I think is a bit universal for men and their animal companions...the worry that their BOY dog looks well, a bit girly. I hear this often from our dear customers so I think I am not alone here folks. I often get emails asking if a particular collar is too feminine for their male dog as their husbands will be upset by this. Also I hear all the time how they love a style if only it didn't have "pink" in it! What is the deal guys? Alex recently commented that I was making Dugan a "sissy-girl dog" by putting The Feedsack on him! (pictured here) First off the collar is blue which is a fine example of a male dominated color. Baby boys wear blue right? Just because this collar has a few daisies on it should not mean Dugan is a sissy-girl dog or gender confused. It just means he likes flowers, what is wrong with that? I think it looks lovely on him.
I wish men would just stop putting their own hang-ups on dogs in general. There is a certain small segment of the male dog guardian population that has to have a "tough" dog to show I suppose that they are tough too. I worked in vet offices for years and saw this over and over again. There was almost a disappointment if their rottie or pitt bull was a sweety-marshmallow personality because they put a spike collar on them and wanted a "tough masculine" dog. Oh and if I had a nickel for every man that wouldn't neuter his male dog because it somehow implied we were emasculating them at the same time. I swear men would self consciously cover their genital region with their hand as protection the minute you mention the 6 month neuter. So silly.
A few years ago I had a great groomer named Paris who thought it would be cute to put green bows in my male Irish setter Seamus' ears after a grooming for St. Patrick's Day. I thought it was hysterically adorable. My husband not so much. I had to hear how "embarrassed" Seamus was although by all accounts he was not acting any differently at all, in fact he seemed a little full of himself post-groom, like "hey I look fine!". Alex felt I had offended Seamus' manhood with the bows. But like most things...dogs really don't give a crap as long as they are loved and fed and there is a soft bed to snooze on. We humans give them the hang ups.
So I invite my female collar buyers to ignore the sneers and jeers from their male counterparts. Purchase that pink collar for your boy labrador! Put a floral print on your male terrier with pride! Pastels for all! Save your gender labels for humans with anxiety, dogs just want to look good. I hate to tell you they're a bit color blind too so they don't know pink from any other light color.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Lucky Fiona Street Team Plans Walk

** Extra! Extra! Hear all about it! Forming a Lucky Fiona Street Team!**

Local Friends of Fiona in the Chi-town suburbs come join our once-a-month walking group or form your own crew in your region! We'll walk along sporting our Lucky Fiona style and share the joy of being outside, enjoying spring and walking our beloved pooches who will look so fab in their L.F. gear.

Join our street team today!
1st Dog Walk/Meeting - Saturday May 2nd - 10:30a.m. Downtown Naperville Riverwalk ~ We'll meet at the Dandelion Fountain. Bring your own poo-poo bags and water for you and your pup. Western Suburb residents who RSVP by 4/22 will receive a free Lucky Fiona Street Team t-shirt! Email w/any additional questions/suggestions.

Friday, April 17, 2009

This Week's Official Friend of Fiona is... Cort!

Maybe it's all those William Wegman photographs I keep framing and hanging in the laundry room, but Fiona was instantly smitten by this week's silvery winner Cort. He is looking dapper as a dog can in his brand new Silly Stripe Lucky Fiona custom collar. We invite his Dogmom to contact us with her pick from our shop of a brand new collar for charming Cort. We know he'll look smashing in any style she chooses! Congrats handsome boy and thanks to his proud Dogmom for sending his photo in!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Collar for a Cause

The Conlan Collar - $10 of each sale goes to Relay for Life
Pictured above Kelly & Patrick Conlan

We support many animal related fund raisers monthly as part of our commitment to humane efforts and rescue. Recently we were alerted that a great cause needed our support and even though it is not directly animal related Fiona put her paws in the air and said "Let's Help!" My dear childhood friend Kelly Bulson Conlan is raising funds for the American Cancer Society/Relay for Life in honor of her husband Patrick who was diagnosed this past January with a rare germ cell cancer. Patrick and Kelly live in New York with their 3 young children Lily, Gavin and Grace. We know with top notch treatment and the support of their friends and family Patrick will win this battle and we are pleased to support in any way we can. $10 of each collar sale of The Conlan will go to Relay for Life. Please help us help this great cause.For more information please see Prayers for Patrick and Kelly's Home Page for Relay for Life:

We are doing these collars at cost for the cause and have tons of fabric so please shop wildly! We customize these to ANY size! Purchase for your dog or cat - a friend's dog or cat - a shelter dog or cat who needs a collar - or stash away for the next time you need a custom doggie gift!

Pictured below: Kelly Conlan and Grace Conlan, dancing are Gavin and Lily Conlan. Also individual pic is Patrick Conlan.
To help Patrick's Relay Team Prayers for Patrick go to:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back to Business

It's always nice to take a little break and Alex and I enjoyed a few days off from the studio to travel and visit family and enjoy the Easter holiday. But nothing can stop my insatiable need for fabric and new Lucky Fiona styles. Imagine my delight when my Father-in-Law took me to a real gem of a fabric shop tucked in a small NorthEastern town. Imagine rooms and rooms of fabric bolts, many vintage and priced so well I started to uncontrollably drool upon entering the building. Yes, it was fabric nirvana my friends. A kind older man ran the shop who took the business over from his father... so 50 years of fabric history surrounded me. No internet sales, no fancy displays, not even a cash register...just a cutting table and a sweet lady with a calculator. I felt a wee bit dizzy shopping to tell the truth, so much great yardage so little time. My secret little fabric finds will be released throughout the year in our Etsy shop and on our website so stay tuned... also let me know if you know of any vintage fabric shops out there tucked away and frozen in time. Fiona and I promise to keep them a secret.

Friday, April 10, 2009

This Week's Friend of Fiona is...Patches!

Fiona couldn't pick a more perfect pooch to be this week's Official Friend of Fiona than the dapper Patches. He is seen here looking oh so handsome in a Custom ChocoBloom Lucky Fiona collar. Patches is currently in foster care with Jill who is a great friend of our company and wonderful friend to animals in need of a second chance. Pulled from a high kill shelter in Iowa we are happy to report that Patches is currently in the process of finding his forever home with a wonderful new Dogmom candidate who is going through the steps to make sure Patches is the right choice for her and that he will fit into the life of her current dog as well. We are happy to give Patches a fashionable start to his new life with his Foster Mom's choice of a free new collar. Congrats on being our big winner this week!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

This Week's Official Friend of Fiona is...Apollo!

Taking a hint from her cat-brother Sully Fiona decided to pick a winner of the feline persuasion this week. Sully provided this hint by swatting at Fiona's tail when she passed him by this morning. (message received loud and clear!)
Fiona is proud to announce Apollo as this week's "Official Friend of Fiona" If Fiona's memory serves Apollo was the Greek God of Fashionable neck wear in mythology right? We adore Apollo's majestic photo wearing the Sharky here. So noble and refined! Well Apollo - tell your CatMom to pick out a new free custom collar of your liking for being our official winner this week! Congrats handsome boy.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Big Shout Out to All My Pals at Animal Poison Control

Well it's official...I am the biggest April Fool ever courtesy of my wily Irish Setter Dugan...a.k.a. the Red Devil Demon Dog. Let me set the stage for you. I was super busy yesterday, too busy for any April 1st foolishness and I made the mistake of thinking I escaped any mayhem because no friends played any pranks on me. I forgot that Dog's have a sense of humor too. My day started with collars, many of them in fabrication. Late morning I went to pick a foster dog up and transport him to one of my dog nanny client's home for an interaction as my client is hoping to adopt a 2nd dog. Went well thanks for asking, the dogs are getting along famously. I drove the foster dog back to his foster mom and high tailed it to a nearby Starbucks (insert ironic foreshadowing here) and met with a gal who is starting a professional pet sitting service and wanted to pick my brain as I've run 2 successful services. Talked shop with her for 2 hours and then high tailed it to another client's home, fed/walked the dog and zoomed home to feed my own before running out again to meet friends for an April Fool's Dinner at a local restaurant.
Now I felt a little bad that I had not spent any quality time with my own pooches for most of the day...but my husband is on nightshift for 3 days this week so he was home with the dogs all day snoozing. They were not alone. There should have been no hard feelings.
I once worked for a veterinarian who in my experience is one of the most brilliant vet med minds I've ever met. Surgically he was incredibly talented - great diagnostic strategies, unbelievable work ethic. He did however believe that dogs do not do things out of spite. He did not believe dogs had the mental capacity to hold emotional grudges. This was the reason I had to sometimes step back and say "vets may not know everything." If this doctor spent 24 hours with Dugan he may have had to re-evaluate his hypothesis on spiteful behavior.
Dugan does not like his Dogmom to be away - we deal with this when I go out of town or have a day when I can't give him all the attention he demands. Last night Dugan told me loud and clear he was no fool and would not be ignored by a too-busy Dogmom.
We walked into the house post-dinner around 9:30p.m. and I was immediately struck by the fact that no dogs greeted us at the door coming into the mud room from the garage. Usually there is a festival like greeting with wagging tails and happy paws dancing about. This was my first red flag something was amiss. A quick walk into the kitchen I discovered the cabinet doors were open. Bowls and pots were on the floor. Those that don't have ill behaved dogs may have thought they were robbed and run from the home screaming "Burglar!" I however live with setters. I know better.
Then I smelled the sweet smell of... Starbucks? A look into the living room and saw the carnage. From a cabinet Dugan had dragged a sealed plastic container full of those one-cup beverage packages from our Flavia Hot Beverage machine into the one room with light colored carpeting and tore them open all over the place. I called the dogs and Dugan came hopping down the stairs like "What up girlfriend?" and Caelan and Fiona stayed hidden in the family room, ashamed of their brothers bad behavior. Panic hit me as I recalled some of those packets were coffee and hot chocolate. Caffeine and chocolate are toxic to dogs. I did a quick assessment of all the dogs and all looked fine, no drooling, no outward signs of distress. I got down and picked up the packets and it appeared the only ones that were ingested were the creamy foam topping ones. The rest just had puncture marks to spill contents all over the rug. Proving that just like humans - dogs love that creamy foam topping the best.
Looking at the huge mess ahead of me and feeling a headache coming on my husband said something only a husband would say. "Can you make me some sandwiches? I have to leave for work now."
To his credit he did clean up the plethora of packets and bring the steam cleaner inside from the garage before leaving for work. It may have been the look I gave him or the choice of language I used after the sandwich remark. Language not family friendly for my blog readers.
35 minutes later and 3 steam cleaner tank changes of Natures Miracle my carpet no longer looked like a coffee shop massacre had occurred. I climbed the stairs to go to bed...weary from my day when I smelled the strong scent of green tea wafting from the bedroom. There on my bed were 9 more packets punctured but licked clean on my 2 week old dusty blue duvet cover. A quick check revealed some decaf teas, more foam topping and a French Roast coffee. (insert more non-blog friendly language here)
Now here is the part where I would encourage people to call their vet and not do as I do. I've been around the block before with dogs who eat things they shouldn't and I was worried about the elapsed time and coffee ingested so I whipped out my vomit kit.

Oh you don't have a vomit kit for your dog? Clearly you've never shared your life with an Irish Setter that can open doors and cabinets.
So I sucked 20 cc's of hydrogen peroxide and water into my special vomit syringe and took Dugan out into the back yard and forced it down his throat. I waited 10 minutes. No vomit. I repeat...nothing. I call the Animal Poison Control Center and find the humor in the fact they pull his record up by my phone number and have all his information right on hand from our previous calls. You have to have humor when you are out in the back yard late at night covered in peroxide praying for your dog to puke.
Melanie my helpful Poison Control Center operator suggests my peroxide may be expired and not fresh enough and that is why he was not vomiting. (good to know) For the next 40 minutes I sit outside with Dugan watching him as Dr. Myers and the vet toxicology team at Animal Poison Control research all the ingredients and amounts of Flavia hot beverage packets and determine he did not get enough coffee to cause big time issues (like cardiac stress or liver problems). Further the hot cocoa mix did not have enough chocolate to be worried about even if he did ingest one. For future reference Doc Myers tells me for Dugan's weight and age he would need 5-6 teaspoons of coffee ingested to be concerned. (every dog is different though!) The coffee packet held far less (.09 of an ounce) so we were in the clear. $60 well spent and I urge everybody to have the ASPCA 24 hour Animal Poison Control phone number on their fridge. 1-888-426-4435. For those with setters perhaps store it in your cell phone as well.
So Dugan is acting fine and I let him inside. He immediately runs upstairs - hops on the guest room bed and vomits 3 times. Sigh.
So now I have 2 filthy beds I cannot begin to think about sleeping in and I commence gross clean-up, including cleaning the mattresses which alternately smell like cappuccino and dog puke. It is officially past midnight. April Fools Day is over. My husband is happily at work eating his sandwiches secretly glad he volunteered to work night shift. My dog is not showing any signs of toxic overdose. I am really tired.
I thought of the vet I worked for who believes dogs don't do things for spite or find a way to show their people their emotional stress. I guess that is why he was probably sleeping soundly at 1:00a.m. and I was running comforters and sheets through the laundry. Dugan approached me slowly as I lay on the couch waiting for the dryer to buzz. He snuggled at my side put his snout right beside my face and let out a sigh of content and I whispered to him, "I hear you...loud and clear."

Facebook Friends of Fiona Photo Contest Winner

Congrats Koopa on winning our first ever Friends of Lucky Fiona Facebook Photo Contest. We had many gorgeous snouts enter and Fiona picked Koopa as her fave. He wins a custom collar and leash as well as a $25 donation to the animal charity of his and his Dogmom's choice. Thanks to all who entered - we loved seeing all the Lucky Fiona style!