Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Howl-o-ween!

Greetings Ghouls and Boys!
Yes it's the Head Bitch's Favorite Holiday! I awoke this morning with a flutter of excitement as it's the big day! Spooks, goblins, candy and pumpkins. I love it all. (especially the candy) I thought I'd take a few pictures of the fur-kids for fun this morning. Due to the recession we used things I had around the house for costumes. I also discovered the main difference between Irish and English Setters. My English Setters Fiona and Lily were like "Well of coarse Mummy! Put a full costume on us! We'll sit still for as many pictures as you wish! Cheers!" (Henceforth Lily is an adorable Skunk and Fiona is a Lady Who Lunches)
My Irish Setters Dugan and Caelan were more along the lines of "For the love of all things holy Ma! We hate this blarney! Put the damn thing on our heads and get this over with! Oh and there better be food coming!" (So as you can see Dugan is a Bunny because eating a carrot was the only way to keep the ears on his head and Caelan is a Princess because well, frankly she truly believes she is royalty)
Sully the cat purred as I put his chicken headpiece costume on and barely seemed to notice it. Brody our other cat became MIA the moment the camera came out. Sigh.
Send me pics of your special pooches and kitties enjoying Halloween, wont you?
Happy Howl-o-ween! ~ Shannon
p.s. Fiona is available for lunch dates if anybody is interested. Email to get on her schedule.

Friday, October 30, 2009

2010 Lucky Fiona Calendar Contest Winners

This year's 2010 Friends of Fiona Wall Calendar is bigger and better than ever! Full color and heavy glossy stock make this a work of art worthy of displaying in your home or office.
Thanks to all our entries for this year's Calendar Photo Contest! We were thrilled to receive over 85 photos this year from many good looking Friends of Fiona. It was hard to pick with so many snazzy pooches (and not one cat entry this year! Where are you feline friends?) We are pleased to announce our winners in Month Order:
Mr. January ~ Dio (Scola)
Miss February ~ Mabel (Rodeghierio)
Misters March ~ Charlie & Riley (Wincek)
Mr. April ~ Kirby (Crickenberger)
Mister & Miss May ~ Remy & Burberry (Holsopple)
Miss June ~ Roxanne (Whybrew)
Miss July ~ Sweet Old Yellow Dog Bailey (Usey)
Miss August ~ Nala (Kaufman)
Mr. September ~ Apollo (Barreau)
Mr. October ~ Dudley (Myrick)
Mr. November ~ Bailey (Dimitri)
Miss December ~ Madison Grace (Law)

Winners will be notified by email this week and please shop early for these limited calendars in our Etsy shop! We have a small quantity being printed (25)

Proceeds from 2010 Friends of Fiona Calendars will be donated to the Dekalb County Animal Control in Genoa, Illinois. This is the shelter where we rescued Fiona from in 2006. Convo on Etsy or email with any questions.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner (or kicks her off the bed for that matter)

Lily's nights on our bed may be numbered. It all started about a week ago when my darling husband started thrashing around complaining of having no room on the bed and announced "Lily! It's time you slept on a dog bed! Honey, don't you think so?" I feigned sleep and even threw in a little snore for authenticity. I glanced through closed eyelashes to see Alex roll over and turn off his bedside light. I silently did a little victory dance in my mind and hoped the topic would be forgotten.
Since her first night here Lily has curled into a little spotty setter ball on our bed at night. She is polite, she will first stand next to the bed waiting for me to give her the go-ahead before leaping up like a gazelle. She has to be laying against me as she sinks into slumber and I often pat her head in reassurance that yes I love having her close too.
Lily being allowed on the bed all night is rather decadent. Dugan our 10 year old Irish Setter prefers to sleep downstairs most evening on the couch facing the front window on high alert. If a leaf blows up the street he will be sure to bark about it until we are all safe. Fiona ever the lady lays on the bed for a short while when we prepare for sleep but sweetly leaves for her dog bed in our room before we retire. Caelan has been exiled from all night bed sleeping since 2005 when she began growling at me for entering the bed after her and Alex were in it. I told her no bitch is coming between me and my man and she has spent evenings on the big overstuffed chair since. (although she has been known to sneak back up in the middle of the night that little floozie) In the wee hours of the morning after Alex rises and gets ready for work it's open game and all the dogs snuggle up with me so the bed does not feel so empty. Not so much because they adore me, but to make sure I don't hit the snooze too many times and delay their breakfast.
So having Lily on the bed all night is a bit spoiling. But one look at this little moppet and you'd spoil her too. My husband was okay with the cramped conditions while Lily assimilated and got comfortable with us, but apparently her welcome is worn out and he wants his leg space back. As little as Lily is she tends to sometimes do the setter-stretch and sprawl out in the manner of a drunken hippie. I'd be lying if I myself did not admit to awaking to a paw pushing my head off the pillow a few times.
The last few nights I have tried to put Lily on the outer edge of the bed so Alex does not awake at 2:00a.m. to a setter licking his bald head and a fluffy tail banging the duvet cover in excitement when he cries out "Whaaaaattttissssthhhaaaat!" Unfortunately Lily has been networking with Caelan and was fully trained by her with the wait-until-they're-dead-asleep-and-go-wherever-you-damn-well-please-on-the-bed-routine. (and you thought I was kidding when I called Caelan a bitch)
I don't know how much longer I can hold Alex off from giving her the boot. I'll just keep giving him the "she's just a poor rescue baby!" routine and hope she can keep her licker to herself in the a.m. hours. How many collars do you think I need to sell to afford a king size bed?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Love Me, Love My Skinny Rescue Dog (and keep your comments to yourself)

Attention people at the dog park, people in the vet office waiting room, people at the dog bakery and people picking up their dogs at the groom shop.
I am aware Lily is skinny!
Do not give me evil looks like I am purposely starving my own dog. Do not whisper to the person standing next to you "did you see how thin that dog is?" like I cannot hear you. Above all do not try to educate me on how I should feed my dog. (this means you lady who loudly suggested Kibbles & Bits is available in the 40 pond bag at SuperWalmart)
My favorite tip on proper nutrition was from the cranky man at the dog park who told me to feed her McDonald's. Oh right, McDonalds! Silly me making her fresh chicken, tripe, salmon and beef and slowly adding fresh fruits and vegetables to the mix to help heal her digestive tract. A Big Mac was the answer all along! (dumb-ass)
I have become so paranoid in public places with Lily I immediately announce to anybody within earshot "She was pulled from a shelter! We just rescued her! I feed her small highly caloric meals throughout the day!"
Truth is Lily is slowly gaining, which is the safe way for her to put on weight. It has been a challenge with 3 other dogs (one of whom needs to lose weight) to get Lily's extra food in without 3 sets of pathetic setter eyes looking at me like "You mean there are other meals besides breakfast and dinner? We want in!" Dear Lily is quickly learning to come to me when I whisper and flag her into the kitchen silently so as not to arise suspicion from the others. No small feat as Dugan can hear food hit a dog dish from 100 yards away.
Lastly - what the heck is wrong with you people anyway? I would never walk up to somebody at the dog park and say "Hey! Your beagle is a big fat ass!" or "Gee whiz your labrador is a huge cow!" Yet everywhere I go people act like Lily's slenderness is open game for comment.
So back off folks. My little gal is perfect in every way and we will slowly get her weight to a healthy place...and Ronald McDonald will have nothing to do with it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Fiona is in Dog Joy!

We are so happy to report that Fiona's name and photograph is featured in the newly released book "Dog Joy - The Happiest Dogs in the Universe" from the Editors of Bark Magazine. Our spotty gal (wearing Lucky Fiona of coarse) is on page 187 above the Index page. Her photo may be small compared to others in the book but only 500 photos were picked out of 10,000 so we are mighty proud regardless.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Whooo-HOOOOO! We Hit a Milestone this morning!

It's time to celebrate!
WE HAD OUR 3000TH SALE ON ETSY THIS MORNING! Thanks to all who have made our Etsy shop such a success. To share our thanks on this wonderful news we are offering the WONDER COLLAR FOR FREE w/ANY Purchase today! That's right - free with any other collar or purchase in the shop!
Simply list in the notes section of your purcase the code "Wonder-ful" along with size desired and we'll ship it free with your purchase. One free Wonder collar per household. Standard collar - martingale and extra wide surcharges still apply. TODAY 10/19/09 ONLY! Email w/questions.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Count Teddula says Enter your Photos or Else!

Count Teddula reminds you all that Howl-o-ween and the end of the month are quickly approaching! Time to submit your entries before it's too late for Fiona's calendar contest!
Avoid Teddula's evil red stare and read the gorey details below instead:
Lucky Fiona: 2010 Lucky Fiona Calendar Contest
Email your entry to and put 2010 CALENDAR CONTEST in tag line. Be sure to tell us the name of your animal companion in text and include your mailing address. If multiple animals appear in a photo please specify who is who.
* Pictures must not be copyrighted or owned by another party. Hence if it was a professional portrait you must have permission from the photographer before submitting it. (we will check!)
* Large format - we need as big of an image as possible to reproduce the image with our calendar - so no teeny, tiny images please. JPEG format is preferred.
* Your animal companion must be wearing a Lucky Fiona collar. This would seem a given, but you'd be surprised how many entrants we get for the weekly photo contest who are wearing Petsmart collars. We do not care how much of the collar is showing in the picture, it just has to be somewhat recognizable.
* Get creative! We will try to match up the images with the months/seasons. So a pic of your cat with a pumpkin would be great for November or a photo of your dog in the pool would be fine for July. We are looking for creative, witty, serious & sweet photos.
* By submitting your photo you acknowledge we may publish it in a 2010 Calendar and give us permission to reproduce the image.
So get those cameras clicking as deadline is October 28th 2009!
If you have any questions at all please feel free to contact the Head Bitch at the above email address or call 630.253.2371. We will announce our winners on the blog and Facebook on October 30th and have details of how to purchase a calendar then.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lucky Fiona Street Team ~ Springbrook Dog Park

It was a lovely day at the off leash dog park for the Lucky Fiona Street Team! True to our "street gang" mentality some of the dogs in our group had official park permits and some wild eyed pooches were there illegally with no pass. Oh, yeah, you heard me right, breaking the forest preserve law, that's how our Street Team rolls. Yes, the gang knows how to walk on the wild style of coarse with their Lucky Fiona Dog Collars and Leashes.
Lily was officially named a gang member and welcomed by the group. Keeping up with her "most perfect dog in the world" routine she ran around like a banshee but always stayed within our sight and would come to us when we called her name. Alex and I wept tears of joy clinging to one another in disbelief and excitement to finally have a setter that comes when called. It took us 14 years of rescuing but apparently God has some rule that when you rescue the 5th setter in your lifetime it will comprehend the recall command in an open space. It was a good day.
Street Team humans enjoyed cider and donut holes as the pooches romped around. Caelan gave us all a chuckle as she showed her bitchy side to any dog that approached our group who was not actually a bonafide member of the gang. "Scary Larry" (a.k.a. Lawrence) was thrilled when a little chihuahua came prancing by making him no longer the smallest dog at the park (alas he was the best dressed as he wore a plaid shirt and sweater to show everybody else what Saturday casual is all about) Dio - free of baby brother Jett for the morning enjoyed some one on one time with his Dogparents and was the epitome of well behaved serenity. EZ-Pass (a.k.a. Trini) showed off her ball retriever skills and generously brought everybody gourmet Halloween dog treats. (thanks Trini!) We also had a visit from Riley and Charlie - the terrific terriers, who we hope can join us for more gatherings now that they are no longer spending weekends at their Lake House in Wisconsin. Fiona you may ask? Well she showed her snout every 30 minutes or so for a drink of water before heading back out to the tall grass and vast acreage of the prairie for bird flushing. Alex decided after 2 and half hours in which we only saw Fiona 3 times to not press our luck and attached a leash to her. A move that Amanda seemed to think bordered on animal abuse. (Amanda apparently has never spent 2 hours looking for a dog at the 27 acre dog park before)
Lily provided some laughter in the parking lot as she hopped into my trunk as I loaded up some bags upon leaving. We assured her that in her happy new home she never will have to ride in the trunk.
Thanks to all who joined us today and mark your calendars for November 21st for our next Lucky Fiona Street Team gathering! Details TBA!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Everybody Loves Lily

It's been 2 weeks since Lily came to join our family and we are so happy to report she is doing great and fits in so wonderfully with all of us. Not wanting to overwhelm her I have slowly been introducing her to new things and she just takes everything in stride. My pal Marcy came over yesterday with her 8 month old daughter Lyla for some lunch and chit-chat. Marcy kindly agreed to let Lyla be the first child that Lily has been exposed to since coming to live here. I promised Marcy Rice Crispy Treats as compensation for allowing her first born to be our baby-guinea-pig.
Imagine our delight when we put Lyla on the floor (a brave move in a house with 4 dogs) and Lily went right over to her, plopped down and rolled on her back. Lily then proceeded to lay there as Lyla played with her collar and poked her fingers at her snout. I've never seen a dog so gentle and sweet with a baby. But then again, I've never met a dog so sublimely sweet as Lily.
Lyla went home with all her fingers and yet another day has passed when I learn something new about our newest addition.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Supersize It!

Thea the Weimariner decided she wanted an extra wide custom Lucky Fiona collar when she purchased one this evening and simply put our new "Make It a 1.5 or 2.0 Inch Width!" listing in our Etsy shop in her shopping cart.
Now it's easy-peasy to upgrade a standard collar to super wide 1.5 or 2.0 inch width for one low price to show all those fabric details. Just purchase the extra-wide listing along with any collar and we take care of the rest.
We're always looking for ways to make your Lucky Fiona Collar shopping fun an easy. Keep sending along those requests, comments, concerns and suggestions to Fiona listens! (to you at least, to her Dogparents not so much)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Facebook | Lucky Fiona Street Team Event

Poop-out the Pups in 27 fenced acres of doggie heaven!
PLUS: Meet Lily~ Newest Street Team Gang Member! She needs to be 'jumped in'. We will meet at 10:30a.m. at the Springbrook Dog Park on 87th Street in Naperville. The Head Bitch will set up one of the picnic tables right near the entrance with cider and doughnuts for humans and treats and water bowls for Street Team Dogs.
It is suggested by the Forest Preserve you have a dog park pass to attend the park. In the 5 years since they started issuing permits to use the park I have been asked to show my pass a total of '0' times - but I must warn there is a $75 fine posted on front gate.
Single day use permits are available! Simply call (630) 933-7248 for instructions. You can fax in your dog's rabies tag info and have a permit faxed right back to you. If you are a Dupage resident the day pass is $8, otherwise it is $20. Please email me w/any questions.
Application for Day permit is at
Look forward to seeing our local Street Team Members in full force!

Monday, October 12, 2009

This Week's Friend of Fiona is Shadow!

Oh Shadow, we don't care how tough you act or how tough you may think you are...we know you are absolutely adorable in your Poindexter Custom Lucky Fiona Collar. Please don't be too mad at your Dogmom for calling you "cute" and sending in your photo for our weekly contest. In fact thank her for doing so as you are the proud winner and Official F.O.F. of the week! If you can put your toughness aside for a moment tell your Dogmom to email us with your pick of a FREE custom collar from our shop for being the big winner.
Remember folks! Weekly contest is still ongoing as well as our 2010 Lucky Fiona Friends of Fiona Calendar Contest so keep the large format pictures coming to

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Don't Hate the Player...Hate the Game

Last week my husband and I adopted Lily from Ohio English Setter Rescue. We are so incredibly in love with this dog it has been difficult this week for me to formulate the words of what a bond has already been established in such a short time. I almost don't believe it myself so seamlessly she has woven her way into our hearts and family unit.

Lily was meant to be part of our family. All those feelings I felt upon seeing her photo for the first time were valid, we have a connection that is unquestionable. Every day I learn something new about her yet every day I feel like I have loved this creature forever. In just one week she has brought so much joy, her gentle demeanor has been a tonic. Her happiness over the smallest things, finding a toy, watching a bird... is contagious. You can't help but smile with this dog.

As pleased as most people near and dear to us are that we brought Lily into our lives there are doubters out there. To which I must say my tried and true mantra. "Love me, love my dog." I will never understand those doubting Thomas' out there and I must say I feel sorry for them that they think there is a limit on the amount of love you can share in your heart with a four pawed friend in need. Those of you out there who rescue multiple dogs and cats know what I mean. There is always a friend, neighbor or family member who will learn the news of your recent adoption and give you the lecture on "having too many animals" They will try to shame and guilt you into feeling not so good about something that really is good... rescuing an animal in need. They will remind you that you'll have more vet bills to pay and more food to buy and not to mention more vacuuming. They will guilt you into thinking you will be neglecting your other animal companions with the addition of a new one. They will remind you that vacations are difficult with so many animals to think about providing care for in your absence. They will try to tell you that "somebody else" will take on the dog or cat in doesn't have to be you. Some may say you are just crazy to take another animal in, to your face or behind your back.

Really people? I mean...really?

Number of cats and dogs euthanized by shelters each year: 3-4 million (HSUS estimate)

I will stop taking in animals in need en masse when these numbers go away. Until then, I say keep your judgement to yourself. I am not an animal hoarder living in squalid conditions with sickly uncared-for animals. I am one person who has devoted my existence to caring for animals. If I do nothing else in my life noteworthy I can die knowing that I made a remarkable difference in the life of an animal that had limited options. I don't care if I have to have second-hand slip covered furniture forever and I don't get to take tropical island vacations because I have to spend said airfare on Heartguard for 4 dogs.

I challenge anybody out there to say they don't know a human in their social circle who decides to have "one more child" who really shouldn't. Their marriage is falling apart, they have no financial stability or they can't devote the time and energy to the kids they currently have. When that person announces a pregnancy everybody smiles and fawns over them and plans a shower with cake and presents. When I announce I am adopting a 4th dog I am treated with a "tsk,tsk" and a reminder of every negative thing that could happen. Yes, animal care is expensive, but thankfully you never have to send your dog or cat to college so I think I will still come out ahead.

So to all you tsk-tsker's let me tell you more about Lily. She is amazing. She looks at me with such devotion that I sometimes feel I have to try harder to be worthy of those looks. She is constantly thankful and leans her snout against me often as if to emphasize how appreciative she is of every kindness. She runs like a gazelle in the early morning dew. She has so much joy the day is starting, I have to focus to see if her paws are really hitting the ground she is so graceful and fast. She tilts her head when I talk to her and thinks about every word, contemplates the meaning and wags her tail in response. Every trip to the toy bin is Christmas morning, it never gets old and every tattered well loved stuffie is treated like the most incredible find ever. She takes food gently from my hand and sits like a lady when offered a treat. She is my constant companion. She lays in my studio as I work, she sleeps in my bed as I sleep. She curls up on the rug under the kitchen sink as I cook. She pokes her head between the shower curtain and liner as I shower wondering what the heck I am doing in there. She listens when I tell her no and she wiggles her whole body like a convulsing slinky when I tell her she is such a good girl. She snores a little bit when she gets deeply into sleep and she likes it when I trace the areas around her spots on her muzzle with my finger. She smells like lavender and her ears are like little puffs of fluff just waiting to grow in. If she was a desert she'd be lemon squares because she is sweet and simple and happy and old fashioned. I adore her. My other dogs love her and she entered into our little life without any blips in anyone's routine. She was meant to be. I hope everybody will always allow their hearts and their minds to let "just one more" in. You'll never know what you're missing otherwise. As for the naysayers...let them enjoy their new furniture and tropical vacations, I'm happy with lots of fur flying around and a heart that is full.

Monday, October 5, 2009

This Week's Friend of Fiona is Roxanne!

Nothing is sweeter than two pooches sharing something they love! It's in this sharing spirit that we are pleased to announce Roxanne the Boston Terrier as this week's Official Friend of Fiona. Roxanne is seen here in her Lucky Fiona Sweetie Pie Custom Collar while sharing a chew stick with new family addition Stella. Will Roxanne share her prize custom collar and give it to new little sis Stella? Only her Dogmom contact us to receive your FREE custom collar for submitting this week's winning photo at . Don't forget folks that in addition to our weekly photo contest we are also doing our 2010 Friends of Fiona calendar contest! Convo or email for details and keep those awesome photos of your pooches and kitties in Lucky Fiona coming our way!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Letter from Lily to Her Foster Mom

Dear Nice Lady Foster Mom -
I know you were anxious to hear how I am doing in my new home so I thought I'd write a few lines to thank you and let you know how I am.
First off, thanks so much for all your kindness and for having the wisdom to let me go to such a nice new home. It was hard saying goodbye to you after all the love you gave me.
I rode in the car for a really long time yesterday and had to listen to music that was apparently popular with 21 year old humans but I didn't understand it. I slept a lot and was a very good passenger. Then I arrived in the big city of Chicago! Not only that I ended up in Lincoln Park which is a really hip and upscale neighborhood on the North Shore. Talk about arriving in style.
My new Dogmom and DogDad were really gentle and soooooo happy to meet me. They immediately gave me a style makeover and put a new collar and leash on me. I thought the old slip-lead I had on looked fine, but apparently it was not up to snuff. Maybe it was the fancy neighborhood or something.
I slept in the backseat with my new Dogmom as we headed home to the suburbs. She stroked my snout and rubbed my ears the whole way home and told me how much they already loved me.
When we got to my new house I was pretty set on just sleeping on the dog bed in the backseat of the car forever more, but no, my new parents said it was time to meet and greet the others.
I don't know if it was the gallon of Rescue Remedy or all that lavendar spray but everybody likes me! Even Dugan who I heard can be a cranky old guy at 11 LOVED me. Caelan gave me nice sniffies and licks and Fiona also wagged her tail in joy when she met me. The only creature not too thrilled was Brody the cat. She puffed her tail out like a raccoon and swatted at me when I went to give sniffies under the kitchen table. My Dogparents had a chat with her and she has been fine ever since, I just keep my distance.
This place is great! There are lots of toys and A WHOLE BUCKET OF BONES to chew on! Really, a whole bucket with 19 bones in it. I know this because I took all 19 of them out of the bucket one at a time last night. I also have decided that the leopard print stuffed ball is my new favorite toy.
Last night at bedtime Dogmom put me in a nice big crate with a new bed in it and lavendar scented pillows to relax me. Then she went to bed. Then I howled like a spider monkey for 26 minutes straight. All the dog training books and behavior classes my Dogmom took instructed her to leave me in my crate. Tough Love. I would get used to it. Dugan also began howling in a form of unionized protest after the 15 minute mark.
So at minute 27 she took me out of the crate and offered me a dog bed in her room. Too soft. She offered me a throw rug to curl up on. Too hard. Then she patted the end of the duvet cover on the big bed she and DogDad were in. Just right.
I slept with them all night.
Breakfast time was interesting as I did not like any of the deliciously prepared foods offered to me including Solid Gold kibble, Sojo's Mix or fresh meat. Dogmom was only able to get me to eat a little bit of freeze dried salmon chunk treats, some wet tripe and some white american cheese. I think a diet of tripe, cheese and salmon bits sounds fantastic, but Dogmom says we have to work on something a little more balanced.
This morning I have been running around the backyard enjoying the sunshine and playing with toys and following Dugan around as he promised to show me the ropes. Life is pretty sweet here.
Love -

It's a Girl!

Lillian Piper Rose Rainboth Barry

a.k.a. "Lily"
Alexander Rainboth & Shannon Barry are pleased to announce their newest family member "Lily"
Little Sister to Dugan, Caelan & Fiona
Rescued October 2nd 2009 from Ohio English Setter Rescue
Female Lemon Belton English Setter
Weight: 30 pounds and in need of more!
Age: Youngish
Temperament: Sweet as Pie
We are thankful to the good folks at Ohio English Setter Rescue for pulling this lovely girl from a high kill shelter and giving her the chance to live a wonderful and happy life. Extra kudos to Susan England for arranging full transport of Lily from Columbus, Ohio to Chicago today.