Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Maddening I Tell You! Maddening!

Alex grabbing toy golf clubs for my nephews at Target at 5:30 a.m. Friday

My new weekly feature exploring topics that may or may not be dog related but are certainly maddening! Maddening I tell you...maddening!
Today's topic: Black Friday
Now if you are wondering why it has taken till Sunday to write about Black Friday it is because it has taken me a full 48 hours to get over the trauma of going out at 5:00a.m. last Friday.
Let me start by sharing with you that I started working retail at the mall in my home town at the green age of 15 at an upscale woman's store called Up To Date. I was the Dressing Room gal. Breaking several child labor laws I worked 12 hours straight my very first Black Friday employed in the working world. My legs felt like overcooked spaghetti from not sitting down once and I vividly recall making a solemn pledge that when I grew up I would stay home on Black Friday and not shop. In my 6 consecutive years after age 15 where I worked at various retail shops at the mall I repeated that vow every Black Friday and would fantasize about adulthood and freedom from the crowds, sales and general mayhem.
So why on God's Green Earth did I decide to go out last Friday to Target at 5:00a.m.?
Well it was those goddamn $3 Chefmate appliances they advertised. Yes I was a sucker over the mere notion of obtaining a crock pot for $3 or a 12 cup coffee maker or panini press. Now keep in mind I would have to gift said items to somebody I didn't give a rat's ass about or was born in the depression era. 92 year old Great Aunt Snookie would be the only person to not judge me for giving her a $3 gift and also due to her lack of mobility be unable to physically return the crock pot and find out my dirty little secret that I spent the cost of a McDonalds Happy Meal on her Christmas gift.
To be honest I also had another reason for not minding an early wake up to head to Target. Regrettably I have been getting up around 4:00p.m. daily due to my chronic knee pain (on the docket for 2010 is knee replacements for me! Whoo-hoo!). I figured why not go out for $3 deals as I will inevitably be awake anyhow with aching patellas. I put the plan in front of my husband who gets up for work on a normal day at 3:30a.m. and he was unfazed at the prospect at heading out in pitch blackness. Alex (as usual) took it one step further and hatched an evil plan where I could get more deals by using my cane to smack people and/or get sympathy when there was just one panini press left on the shelf. He did have a really, really evil plan of me using the complimentary Target motorized cart to not only get to sale items faster but also strap my cane to the front basket a la battering ram to clear out any congested areas of the store. I reminded him the few times I have used the motorized cart it goes about 1 mile per hour fully floored and he quickly decided this idea wouldn't work. So me and my cane were going to hobble to cheap-ass appliance heaven all on our own.
Since here in the Chicago suburbs we have a Target in every direction from our house all about 10 minutes away we decided to go to what we like to call the "Secret Target" It's not a Superstore like many of our local Targets and is next door to a Walmart Supercenter so it tends to be a little sleepy and full of a lot of clearance stuff as not many people shop there. We naively figured people would go to the other more popular Targets and all the more $3 coffeemakers for us.
I began to realize we were screwed when I saw the local police directing traffic into the parking lot when we rolled in at 4:50a.m. Then I saw the line. It was filled with excited looking cheap appliance seekers and stretched out for miles. We went to the end of it as the doors were opened and I saw on the ground a sight I had not seen since I waited for Springsteen tickets in 1985 - strewn blankets, empty coffee cups and pieces of half eaten sandwiches. These crazy people had been camping out on line since 1:00 a.m. for my goddamn $3 crock pot. Bastards!
We got one of the very last carts available as we walked into the bottle necked entrance. Target in all their wisdom put all the $5 DVD's right as you walk in on cardboard racks. It was a freakin' feeding frenzy and I had to laugh as a lady shouted out in glee "I got The Davinci Code!" (um, it really wasn't that great of a movie and it lasted what felt like 23 hours) Using highly technical hand signals I pointed to the left to my husband so we could cut through one of the open check out lines and by-pass the DVD madness. He nodded and off we went. I put my cane on high speed and said to my husband (who should be at my side) "Lets go all the way over to the left side of store so we can go straight down to appliances!" When I got no response I realized quickly I was talking to nobody as Alex had stopped 10 feet back at the $1 bins. What?
We are out at 5:00 a.m. among throngs of shoppers all stuck in the DVD shopper traffic and I devise a fantastic plan to by-pass hundreds of people to get the $3 appliances and he stops to browse the stupid $1 bins that are there ALL the time!
I know the military says to never leave a man behind but I have to keep the dream alive! I ditch Alex like a bad prom date and hobble in high gear back to appliances by cutting through the kids department. I see people coming towards me with arms full of red Chefmate boxes. I can smell the $3 bargains they are so close!
I see the Doorbusters Deals end cap in sight as I turn the corner and I think "I'm going to make it! I can do it!" A flash of red shirt then stood in my path and I listened in horror as a Target team member announced "That's it folks!" She handed the last panini press to a man with a White Sox hat on. I clutched my cane a bit tighter and thought about using it in force to get that panini maker, alas Target has pretty good security and the cops were right outside still directing traffic.
My husband shows up on the scene a few minutes later clutching some plastic jungle animals from the $1 bins for my nephews. He does not understand why I am losing my mind over missing out on the $3 appliances. In his estimation we would have had to be been one of the 1:00a.m. camped out people to get those great deals. He unplugs the floor demo $3 coffee maker from the display shelf and hands it to me at which point I respond using language not fitting of a lady.
For the next hour I watch crazed individuals run around Target like chickens with their heads cut off. Women in baseball caps covering unwashed hair pushed 2 carts at a time full of merchandise. I listen to a man in electronics brag his "big fish" story to a group that he just happened to be standing near a set of stock room doors when staff brought out the 2 last flat screens on super sale which he motioned to on a flat bed. Bystanders ooohhed and aaahed over this tale of triumph. A frantic woman came up to me and peered into my cart in a panic looking for the Barbi Aluminum Kick Scooter in purple. Apparently she had one and she set it down for a second and it was gone. I was in Crazyville.
Meanwhile I did not find any other outstanding sales or items I just had to have. The $15 crock pots that were $19 off seemed absolutely exorbitant when you knew a $3 one once existed. Target is always home to good pricing, nothing was worth getting up that early and facing such lunacy. I got some gift wrap supplies and some ornaments that would have cost the same say at 11:30a.m. The check out lines were long enough to watch the Divinci Code DVD and still have time for a nap. Alas, the shopping gods finally looked over me when a team member stepped up to me and whispered "You don't have too many items - you can step over the to the pharmacy for check out." I took off like a bat out of hell.
So dear friends. I now vow again to never shop on Black Friday again. I don't care how good the deal, I just don't have what it takes. Now what the hell am I going to get Great Aunt Snookie?

Friday, November 27, 2009

Update on Dairyland Greyhounds...

Thanks to Lucky Fiona Street Team member Laura for alerting us to this Associated Press article released today. Goes to show you just never know if something you see online is true! Although I am sorry the rumor has caused extra trouble to dispel by the head of this group, I hope it also did some good and perhaps educated people to rescue greyhounds and pressure other dog race tracks to close.

Dairyland Dogs Won't be Put Down, Despite Rumor
Posted: Nov 27, 2009 5:05 AM CST
KENOSHA (AP) -- A greyhound adoption group wants to silence rumors that hundreds of dogs could be put to sleep when Dairyland Greyhound Park in Kenosha closes.
Ellen Paulus heads the state chapter of Greyhound Pets of America.
She says a message being circulated through e-mail and Facebook is not true.
It claims 900 greyhounds could be killed if they're not adopted by the end of the year.
She's spent hours responding to questions about the rumor.
She estimates there may be 200 to 300 dogs available and her group will help Dairyland relocate the dogs once the track closes at the end of the year.
She says the time she's spent dealing with the rumor could have been devoted to networking on behalf of the dogs looking for new homes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day Friends of Fiona!

To all My Four Pawed Friends ~
Wishing you a wonderful day where you are not gated off into the other room while company comes over! I am thankful for all the pals we make with this little collar company and also thankful that my DogDad accidentally drops some turkey on the floor while craving. (that must be one slippery bird!) Check in tomorrow to see what kind of Black Friday deals we have going on. I'm not sure what exactly Black Friday is, but I think it involves free stuff.
Smooches to All My Pooches ~

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Howliday Happenings!

Don't be left out in the cold this gift giving season! Lucky Fiona Collars make the greatest gifts for your animal loving pals! Shop with confidence - It's so easy-peasy!
* We GIFT WRAP every collar for FREE!
* We can ship directly to the recipient (US orders only). Just let us know in buyer notes and we'll happily gift wrap and send a personalized gift card with your purchase.
* We offer Secret Santa services! Does your dog have a crush on that poodle at the dog park? (or do you have a crush on the person at the other end of the leash?) Let Fiona be the go-between and send a Secret Santa gift package to the pooch your dog drools over. We keep it all hush-hush.
* Not sure of the size needed for the dog? Talk to us - we can usually figure it out pretty close based on breed. If we goof and the recipient does not fit into the collar we will make a new one based on actual neck measurement at no additional charge. As long as original collar is returned unworn we'll do an exchange and donate the original collar to one of the breed rescues we work with. Satisfaction is our business!
* Your intended gift recipient does not have the dog or cat yet...No problem! We offer gift certificates that look lovely all wrapped up and then your pal can pick their own style once they get their new four legged pal.
* Never know what to get that one person who is impossible to shop for but loves their dog more than anything in the world? Purchase a Collar of the Month Subscription for them! We then send this lucky person a new collar each and every month for their spoiled pooch. Initial collar comes gift wrapped with a description of how the service works and when to look forward to their next installment. (We offer this awesome service for $150 and it is a $251.76 value) Our COM members often get true vintage fabrics that we have in our archives that we don't have a large enough quantity to sell in the shop. Little treasures just waiting for that special pup!
Lots of options to make dogs drool and cats purr this holiday season. Email with any questions you may have, we're pleased as punch to help!
Please take note that Lucky Fiona will be closed December 15th - December 29th to celebrate the season.
Cut off for US Christmas Delivery is Saturday December 12th! Do not dilly dally - order today while selection is available.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

This Week's Friend of Fiona is Fritz!

Finally a feline! We must admit we have seen a decrease in kitty submissions for the weekly photo contest so we were purring up a storm around here when we got these photos of Fritz the kitten wearing the "Leaf It" custom Lucky Fiona cat collar. Did we mention all our cat collars come with a bell, charm and have breakaway clasps for safety? Heck, we figure every set of kitty whiskers out there should be sporting a Lucky Fiona Cat Collar! Thanks to Fritz's Catmom for submitting such fantastic photos and for your efforts you win a FREE custom cat collar of your choice so contact us with your pick! The rest of you CatMoms and CatDads get those cameras out! Send submissions to:

Monday, November 16, 2009

Playing Favorites

Fiona, Lily and Dugan (laying on Ottoman)

My husband Alex has been bugging me lately that I am playing favorites with the animals. He claims that Lily and Sully are getting special treatment and extra praise. To which I say - Horsefeathers!
He also loudly announces to all the four pawed creatures in earshot that "Daddy loves you all equally! Not like the Bad Lady who plays favorites!" (oh yes, did I mention he often calls me the Bad Lady in front of them? As in "Is the Bad Lady trying to clean your ears?" or "Why is the Bad Lady laying like a pretzel on the floor restraining you and cutting your nails?" )
This Bad Lady is turning into the Mad Lady.
Okay, first off I wouldn't be the "Bad Lady" if Alex would actually do some of the more unsavory aspects of animal care. Any fool can walk in the house and hand out cookies like a mob boss handing out c-notes and be adored. Real love is scaling tartar off the cat's upper molar with your finger nail as said cat sinks their claws deeper and deeper into your forearm. Sure, Alex is the big hero handing out the leftover steak from dinner but who sniffs their butt's for evidence when unsuspected anal gland problems arise? Yes, me... the Bad Lady, the same lady that forces the medication down their throat they need to live because Daddy doesn't want to hurt their feelings.
As for playing favorites I think it's all much to do about nothing. We have 2 cats, Brody and the aforementioned Sully. Brody adores Alex and gravitates towards him, so of coarse I give more attention to Sully! He comes to me more often than Brody! I love Brody to pieces and I give her tons of love and attention, but given the choice she will go to Alex who will whisper soft nothings in her ear about what the Bad Lady is up to.
Lily our latest setter rescue likewise has bonded to me. Given the fact that a majority of the animals we rescue develop hero-worship for Alex I silently enjoy the fact that she wants to be with me more than Alex. But lets look at the reality of the matter, it's not that I am praising Lily all the time and ignoring the other dogs. Lily is just such a goodie two shoes, while the other dogs are well, um, working on trying to be um, semi-good...sometimes.
I love them all, I adore them all. They are all different and the old adage is'll catch more bees with honey than vinegar. In this house it''ll get more praise if you are well behaved than if you are causing a commotion.
Lily is obedient, sweet and respectful of all creatures and people. She will quietly sit near me and chew on a toy. Fiona will come over and steal said toy and shred it to pieces as Lily sits with tail wagging like "okay - you have it! Oh, do you want my bone too? Sure, take it!"
Caelan will block all the dogs from entering the doggie door to go back inside the house like some type of mean prison warden. Dugan and Fiona will chase her, howl, bark and cause a ruckus until I intervene. Lily will go sweetly lay on the other side of the deck far from the scuffle until the dust settles.
Dugan, well, Dugan is just naughty. He will be 11 and he still acts 11 months. He still has to be on lock down behind a baby gate when we eat dinner to curb his counter surfing for remnants or stealing items directly off the stove as they cook. He rummages through guests handbags when they visit our home and eats their breath mints, he howls like a banshee if anybody walks near our fence. His latest obsession is shredding toilet paper rolls in our guest room. It goes without saying I recently bought the giant big over sized rolls at Sam's Club. He steals them directly off the toilet paper holders in our bathrooms so now we have to put our toilet paper high up out of reach. A fact I forget every time I sit on the toilet until it's too late. Oh and my guest room often looks like a ticker tape parade came through it.
Last week Dugan stole a box of crackers from the kitchen table and was tearing it open to commence feasting in the family room. Fiona and Caelan joined in the buffet and I entered the scene to see Lily laying on the other side of the room with a curious look on her face like "Are they making smart choices here?"
It's not that I favor her and garner her with praise for no reason. She's just well behaved. It's a novelty in this house.
I love all my furry kids, warts and all. I find their hyperactivity...spirited! I find their thinking! Even when they break into the garden and eat my ripened tomatoes I applaud their sense of getting extra vegetables in their diet. I see the good in the bad and that my friends makes me far from being The Bad Lady. It makes me one damn good Dogmom.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We Love Hairy Winston!

Hooray for one of our favorite wholesalers Hairy Winston! Our good pal Jennie who owns and runs this gorgeous dog boutique in the Charleston area shared with us an ad her local media team ran for her. We love seeing all this Lucky Fiona style piled on top of one another. If you find yourself in or around Mount Pleasant, South Carolina stop in and say hello to Jennie and tell her Fiona sent you!
Mount Pleasant Towne Centre
Monday - Thursday 10am to 8pm
Friday & Saturday 10am to 9pm
Sundays 12pm to 6pm
1605 Palmetto Grande Drive
Mount Pleasant, SC. 29464

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Street Team Rocks the Dog Park Again!

Who could believe it? Mid-November and we had 60 plus degree weather here in the Chicago Suburbs - perfect for some serious romping at the Springbrook Forest Preserve Dog Park by the Lucky Fiona Street Gang. Fiona was thrilled to pieces to meet some new doggie pals today and their kind humans. Jett and Dio invited their pooch pals Roxie, Desi and Tino to hang with the pack. Fiona, Dugan and Caelan's pet sitter Jane brought her silly setter Luke by to run around and join in some ball chasing. Lastly our puppy pal Trini introduced her new foster sister Micki the Toller to everybody. Word on the street is Trini was hoping Micki would get lost in the 27 acres acres of the park so she could be an only child again, but Micki stayed with the group like a good girl.
Thanks again to all who spent their Saturday morning with us and keep your calendar free for our next Street Team gathering on Saturday December 12th. We will be decorating/packaging Howliday Dog Cookies for your pups and for gift giving. Details TBA.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Our New Guarentee That Does NOT Stink!

Yup - just when we were bragging about how nicely Lucky Fiona Collars launder we get a heart wrenching email from Dogmom Michelle who reports that her dog Shadow's Poindexter custom collar was SKUNKED in her back yard. Oh my, all the washing tips in the world will not help this poor collar. Luckily Shadow was our Official Friend of Fiona last month so we have a new collar in the works for the still-slightly-stinky-Shadow free of charge.
Fiona was so moved by Shadow's smelly saga and corresponding photographs that she will now offer a FREE replacement collar to any dog customer who's collar is skunked within 3 months of purchasing a collar from us. We will need proof of said collar's skunky demise along with your original date of purchase receipt. We prefer photographs - but will accept a small (read here small) fragment of the collar sealed in a Ziploc baggy as well to prove skunkability.
Rest assured we here at Lucky Fiona care about your dog and want them to wear those collars through thick and thin, but we know skunks happen. To thank Shadow for bringing this odorous issue to the forefront we will also include a Gift Certificate for a Custom Collar along with the replacement Poindexter. Until then Friends of Fiona...stay clear of the black cats with the giant white stripe down their backs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

In a Lucky Fiona Collar your Pooch Will Never Be a Stick in the Mud

A special thanks to Friend of Fiona Carter and his Dogmom Danica for sending in these awesome photos of Carter Le Deux romping in the fall mud this past weekend. Apparently he is wearing his Lucky Fiona "Wonder" collar, which I will take Danica's word for because honestly who can tell with all that mud? A friendly reminder to all our customers that our collars are completely washable. (unlike some of those snooty high priced collars in dog boutiques which can't have water touch them or they disintegrate) Over the past 2 years I've gotten a lot of great feedback on how to easily wash our collars. Most folks chuck them in the regular washing machine in a pillowcase to keep the D-ring from clanging around your washer and run them on regular cycle with everyday detergent. We always suggest laying flat to air dry, but I've had a ton of people say they throw theirs in the dryer in said pillowcase as well. Some folks have emailed me they run theirs through the top rack of their dishwasher like a baseball cap. A few say they use those home steam cleaning machines to safely "steam" away dirt and grime with no cleaning agents needed. I also have a loyal customer who cleans hers with an old toothbrush and some Bon Ami cleaning powder. (which is so retro!)
However you clean them feel confident that our core webbing is not only strong but also mildew resistant so let that warm soapy water clean away! Fabrics will fade with repeated washing, but we like to think it just adds to the vintage patina that lends itself to our fabrics anyway.
As for collars as muddy as Carters here? Hmmm, pressure washer? Fire hose? Street Cleaner?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It Takes Two...

Everybody loves a Two-fer! Just ask Teddy and his new pal Lola as they flaunt their Lucky Fiona style as Dynamic Duo Fashion Hounds.
This Monday ~ Wednesday 11/9 through 11/11
Simply Order and Pay for any 2 collars in our shop and in NOTES section put the CODE: Lola+Teddy and what style and size leash you desire and we'll ship it free with your collars. Limit 3 Free leashes per household. Email for details.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Mail Bag

Hi Fiona and Family ~
How is the newest member of your family? We think she is mighty pretty and we hear that we might get a chance to play with her on Christmas vacation?

We thought you might like to see us on one of our recent play days.
We like to think of it as..."What more do you need in life? Your ball , a beautiful autumn day and your finest Lucky Fiona wear!"
Love to you all -
Ruby and Kathy

Dear Kathy -
We are planning to bring Miss Lily to magical New York for the howl-i-days. The other dogs were a wee bit jealous they can't go to NY too, but when they found out Jane their favorite pet sitter was coming with her never-ending-supply-of-cookies they quickly got over it. Maybe someday Omi and Dogpa and Aunt Rox & Uncle Patrick will say "Sure - bring 4 crazy setters into our home to visit!" (but we are not holding our breath) So Lily will get her first "Home for the Holidays" experience this year. She is so looking forward to playing with Ruby as well. We must have cameras ready!
Smooches from all the Pooches and me too -

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

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

Oh Sasha...we love those fluffy little 4 month old Aussie ears of yours and how adorable you look in your custom made Lucky Fiona Veronica collar. We wish all the pups in the world could be as pretty and well dressed as you. How did you get so lucky Sasha? Well you don't say...somebody gifted you that collar? Well isn't that sweet - in fact we think everybody out there should treat a new dog-child to a collar. It's easy with our easy return policy or by gifting a Gift Certificate to a puppy guardian you may know. As for the lovely Sasha, we know you wont stay that small and cute forever so have your Dogmom contact us to pick out your free custom collar - perhaps in a size to grow into for being this week's winner.
Keep those photos coming