Saturday, April 28, 2012

Deals for Dog Lovers

Too much good stuff at GREAT prices.
Treats, decor items, elevated dishes, throws, treat containers, etc.

More beds than you can shake a stick at!
My name is Shannon. I like to shop in small independently owned dog boutiques. It's good for our economy to support the little guy. Shop local. Shop indie. Oh fuck. 
My name is Shannon and I love HomeGoods. I buy things for my dogs that they do not want or really need. I need help. 
Yes, as I found out Thursday great finds for your fur-kids are as close as your local HomeGoods store! Need to find one near you? Click here: HomeGoods 
I was amazed at the HUGE selection of high end/designer label pet supplies at incredible prices at my local HomeGoods store. I was in search of those Harry Barker food tins (see previous food storage article) which I was pleased as punch to snag the last medium one for $22.99 ($56 in catalog) and then the fun began. It seemed everything I picked up was $3.99, which to women who shop means "as close to free as you can possibly get, so why not?" Soon Beatrix had a new DogGoneGorgeous tee shirt, I bought two shabby chic metal leash holders, a box of Lazy Dog Bakery treats, a Huggle Hounds chew toy, Cloud Star Lavender spritz conditioner, Sam's Yams Sweet Potato crisps and I had only been in the first aisle. But they were all $3.99 each so who cares! That's practically free. (I hope Alex is not reading this)
Thrilled to find several items I
saw in Company of Dogs at a fraction of cost.
As I was putting things in my cart at the speed of light I had the HomeGoods manager approach me and ask why I was taking photos. Whoops. As I started explaining I have a blog and custom dog collar company I saw her face relax. She started telling me about her Weinmariner (sure sign I was no longer getting in any trouble) I explained I was going to do a little write up of how awesome her store was and how great the price points are on some high end dog supplies. Then she shared that they have has some issues with local dog boutiques buying their items and re-selling them so she wanted to make sure I wasn't part of that racket. Apparently, many of their dog items are priced below wholesale and many independent shops cannot meet the big dog company's minimum orders, so they buy from there and re-sell. She said the problem is a certain shop (located in the SAME PLAZA, yup I mean you T.B.) as HomeGoods does this and does NOT bother taking the price tag off from HomeGoods before re-stickering the products. This has led to several return disasters where people mistakenly bring the stuff back to HomeGoods wanting a refund for way more money than HomeGoods sells them for. All of this was deliciously gossipy, but all I know is my eyes glazed over the moment she said "below retail" and I started scanning the shelves again.

You can barely get past the end cap without
snagging multiple deals.

Beds run from $8.99 and up
The Sealy Posturpedic variety for arthritic dogs are $39!

It was bad enough I found things for my own pack of dogs. But soon I started seeing dog deals so incredible I convinced myself OTHER people I knew HAD TO HAVE them! Animal Matters Soft Stairs - $299 online but $59.99 at HG. (didn't Franny needs those?) Crypton Couch cover $199 at Company of Dogs just $69.99at HG (I think Heather was looking for that fabric specifically)I started texting and sending photos and rallying excitement to other dog lovers!
Let us not forget the treats, oh the treats! All the high end premium brands (SoJo's, Plato Organic, Zuke's, Fruitables, Get Naked, Thinkers) I always check expiration dates and the treats are all new product, so no worries there. I just bought Nutrisca dog treats last Saturday at my local shop and there was the same bag at HG for $6 less. Ouch.
The biggest score? I found a 75 pound solid stone garden statue of a Cocker Spaniel my neighbor had been searching for at garden supply stores for 5 years and it was $39.99! (needed a 2 man lift to get that in my trunk) Too much good stuff. Sigh.

So as much as I felt some real shame for shopping at a mass retailer instead of the little guy, I have to say the story of the indie shop re-selling from HomeGoods helped ease that guilt a bit. I may be a sucker for my pooches, but not a sucker who will pay retail for something a shop owner bought below wholesale.
Gates, food storage, cat posts, carriers, etc.
Lots of travel items too like carriers,doggie seat
belts, car seats and seat protectors.

I guess sometimes you have to let your inner shopping whore come forward when it comes to your dogs and the many things they do not want or need. After all, that $3.99 mug that says "My Dog is Smarter than your Honor Student" is something you should not live without. 
Drop me a line if you need something. I found out the next shipment truck comes in Tuesday at 12:30.
             - The Head Bitch

More beds and crate pads.
No way you can't find a perfect
match for your decor with this selection.
Did I mention they have A LOT of beds?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Store it right people, it costs more than your weekly groceries!

Vittle Vaults complete with Dog Gnaw marks
These days it sometimes feels like you have to have a doctorate to understand dog food brands and the many options available in premium foods for your beloved furry child. After trial and error and 100 people's very strong opinions on the best food to feed your dog you settle on one. Now it's time to properly store it. Since you personally are forced to eat hot dogs for dinner after spending $100 at the dog food store on a bag of food and one box of treats this is something you want to take seriously. Buying a $78 bag of dog food is like driving a new car off the lot. The minute you open that bag and oxygen hits the kibble it starts to degrade and lose it's nutrients. It's super important to store your food in an air tight container. But make sure you pick the right one or you will be labeled a "bad DogParent" and suffer the stares at the dog park for your faux pas. Plus you're throwing money away and nobody can do that these days. 
Ahhh! The light! The light!
Don't let it hit the food!
   There are a plethora of food containers on the market and for years I have purchased Vittle Vaults for $45 up per vault. I hate paying that much for unattractive plastic, but I like the way the top seals air tight and the insurance my food is protected. They make other plastic lidded containers that look nicer, some on wheels even! Alas, you cannot let light hit your food, so the see-through variety is also a no no. Wooden ones? Well they are not air tight and also seem to draw in ants from the few folks I have talked to who own them. Plus um, my dogs would chew on that wood like a beaver if given the chance.
  So we stick with the Vittle Vaults. Inevitably these get a little grimy looking, even with routine cleaning and I purchase new ones. Our dear Dugan was famous for unscewing the lids of these and having a feast, so my current set have some gnaw marks and I'm not looking forward to replacing them. I met with the Vittle Vault rep at last fall's Chicago Pet Industry Trade show and mocked their signage that stated they were "Guaranteed against dogs breaking into them" Apparently not setter guaranteed. The rep told me he'd love to see video of a dog actually getting into a sealed Vittle Vault as he could not believe it. Sadly Dugan passed away before I could video him, but Pogue is currently working on proving this theory in Dugan's memory. 
Do-It-Yourself Vittle Vault for $11-$13 each
   My good friend Brian found these nifty Gamma Seal Lids ($7-$10 a pop online)from Gamma2 that you can add onto a standard $3 Home Depot or Ikea bucket with a swift strike of a mallet and then unscrew the lid on and off to seal in your food - essentially making your own Vittle Vault, for a lot less. I love this idea! 
   Now today I get an email from a dog savvy vet tech pal warning me of the dangers of storing food in plastic containers. Apparently the toxins in the plastic can leach into the expensive dog food you just purchased and be ingested by your dog and cause liver and kidney issues.  While I have always washed and air dried my containers between fillings to make sure the oils that stay behind due do not become rancid - I have never thought about lining my plastic container. I suppose I could do so with the bag the food comes in, but that kind of defeats the purpose of having an air tight container? Have any of you lined plastic containers with a dog safe material you'd like to share with the rest of the class? 
Attractive, but spendy and I fear my setters will flip the lids
off with the quick strike of a paw.
   So now I am looking at metal containers. They start at $58 each for the 40 pound holders. Yikes! I need 3 cans - one for dog food, one for cat food and a third for the inevitable picky dogs that refuses to eat what the other two are consuming. That's a lot of cabbage kids. It's times like this I wish I had a chihuahua who eats like 2 teaspoons of food a day. I could store food in a spare coffee can and call it a day. 

   So tell me Friends of Fiona, how do you store your dog food and avoid the "bad DogParent" stares? Send your photos and feedback to our Lucky Fiona page on Facebook.
Lucky Fiona Facebook Group (to join hit up Facebook Groups - Friends of Lucky Fiona Collars and the Head Bitch Studio) The best idea submitted will win a one of a kind Lucky Fiona Collar called "The Gemtastic" So tell me, tell me, tell me, how do you protect that food from air, light, bugs and/or smarty pants dogs that can break into containers? 

The Gemtastic can be yours
if you share the best food storage tip!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Photos so Awesome we had to share..

Three hounds in the round...wearing Lucky Fiona!
We get so many fantastic photos on our Facebook page we thought we would share a few here! Join our Facebook group today and keep up on latest style releases and sales! Join our Group:
Lucky Fiona Collars & The Head Bitch Studio 
Mabel is thinking about her Pass the Mustard Collar very deeply.

Pixie is looking boss in her "Criss Cross Applesauce"

The "Jack Cobb" makes any pooch look a little
more dignified.

3 Silly Setter sharing a smooch in their new Lucky Fiona Collars.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Spring Break for the Studio

March 30th 2012 ~
The Lucky Fiona Studio will be closed until Thursday April 12th for Spring Break/Rescue Dog Transport. The sewing machines will be serviced  during this time, so we apologize we cannot accept any urgent orders. All collar orders placed will be fabricated in the order they were received beginning 4/12. Please email our intern Bee who is manning the fort at with any questions!