Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Pet of the Week: Chex

Hello dear readers! It seems like we have been having a lot of PotW posts lately. I've just started a new job, so I have been a bit out of pocket as of late. But hopefully things will be calming down soon. Everything is going really well, and I'm just trying to get into the routine. I am taking Axle up to St. Louis this weekend, so be on the look out for a road trip post very soon! Now onto the PotW!

I try really hard not to pick out favorites at the shelter. I really believe that each and every dog there deserves  equal attention, care, and love. But this weeks PotW has a very special place in my heart. Chex is an absolute sweetheart! I am head over heals with this little guy.
Chex says 'cheese!' for the camera!

If you ask him, he will tell you that he is a Great Dane/ German Shepard mix. But really he is something more along the lines of a Dachshund/Corgi mix. And maybe a little bit of Ferret... Chex has such a big personality for his little frame. Every time I go into the shelter I try really hard to walk him at least once. 

Chex has been at the shelter for quite awhile, and has participated in several adoption events over the last few weeks. But for some reason, that none of us can understand, he just keeps getting passed over. Everyone at the shelter loves Chex and really wants him to get the loving forever home he deserves. 
Chex is a very active dog who loves to be taken for walks. He is affectionate, loves to give sloppy kisses, and would love to have a buddy to go on adventures with. If you think that Chex would be a good match for your family, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center in Franklin TN or Check out their Pet Finder page for their other adoptable pets!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Pet of the Week: Pebbles

It is so hard to decide who to pick every Sunday for the PotW posts. There are so many dogs at the shelter, and each one has their own story and personality that I would love to share with all of you. But every week I have to decide on one special pup to be featured. And this week I would like to introduce you to a very sweet girl named Pebbles. 
I just love her sweet face!

Pebbles came in with her two sisters about 6 weeks ago. When  they first got here, you could not even look in their general direction without the three of them cowering to the ground in intense fear. No amount of, sweet talking, treats, or kind words could get these three pups to trust anyone. 

It was such a sad sight, to see these three adorable Australian Shepard mixes so completely terrified of people. It broke my heart to see them in their pens every Sunday, clinging to the floor just trying not to be seen by any human eyes. 

When I think of a puppy, I think of a bouncy, clumsy, lovable mess. But these three pups were the complete opposite. It was very apparent that they had had ZERO socialization before they were dropped off at the shelter. And I have a sneaking suspicion that something may have happened to them, that made them so afraid of people...

But over the last few weeks the three sisters, very very slowly, began to come out of their shells. After a few weeks they wouldn't cower if you walked by their pens. Then after a few more they would let you pet them. Then another week and they could walk on a leash (sort of). 
Pebbles practicing her 'herding skills'.

Two of the sisters were eventually adopted by a man. He has a farm in the country and wanted to get puppies for his two daughters, one for each of them. A picture perfect ending (or beginning) for these two pups! But poor little Pebbles was left behind. 

So now Pebbles really needs a home! The shelter is no place for a sweet pup like her. She does need work on socialization, and could most absolutely due with some puppy obedience classes. But I just want to put out into the universe, how PROUD I am of Pebbles!! She has come so far in her short stay at the shelter.

I wish that all of you could have seen her six weeks ago, when she was just absolutely terrified of everything that moved. And compare that to her behavior today. She has come leaps and bounds, thanks to all of the Staff and Volunteers here at the shelter. Its been an amazing transformation to watch. But she still needs a lot of help learning to trust people. And she can't do it at the shelter. She needs a quiet home environment to grow into the well adjusted, loving dog I just know she wants to be.

This may sound a little nutty... but I can see in her eyes how much she wants to let you cuddle and pet her. But something is holding her back. But I know with time and the proper training, she would make an absolutely wonderful addition to the right family. This girl will always have a special place in my heart, and I want so badly for her to find the loving, patient home that she deserves.

If you think that you could be a good match for Pebbles, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control and Rescue Center in Franklin TN. Or check out their Pet Finder page for many other adoptable pets!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Artist Spotlight: Katie Pritzl

Hello dear readers! Today we have a very special Artist Spotlight post featuring one of my sweet friends, Katie Pritzl! I have known Katie for several years, and she is very talented artist, that works in a wide variety of mediums. Many of her pieces carry a lot of emotional weight and spark thought provoking reactions. While others have more of a quirky and whimsical presence. 

I currently have the pleasure of owning two of her wonderful creations; a painting and a mixed media collage. I was thrilled when Katie agreed to take part in an Artist Spotlight post on this blog! So without further adieu, it is my great pleasure to introduce Miss Katie Pritzl!

Where can your work be seen/purchased? 
Currently I have things on display at Blackbird Gallery in Nashville and the Franklin art crawl. I also have work on display at Happy Endings in Seattle for the rest of the month.

Do you have any on-line resources where you work is featured?
Pritzl Arts on Facebook and Etsy
What mediums do you work in? Do you have any that you prefer, or find hard to work with?
As of right now I mainly work in acrylics and love finding new ways to use mixed media & found objects. I'm staying away from oils for the time being just because of the cleanup that is required. I hope to try all mediums eventually.

What has been your most challenging piece to date? Was there a reason why is was so difficult? 
There is actually a rather large piece I still haven't completed and put aside for the time being, it was coming from a rather emotional place and I haven't quite figured out how to finish it yet.
Do you have a plan when you are working on a project? Or do you just 'let it happen'? I often start with a general idea and build off of that, letting most of the piece happen naturally. However some of the pieces that people love the most started as an absentminded doodle.
Is there always a definitive point when you know a project is complete? Have you ever had a piece that you were never really sure if its finished or not?
For most pieces I reach a certain point and know when it's finished, but there have been plenty of times when I've tortured something beyond recognition because I couldn't stop.
 Where do you most like to pull inspiration from?Anywhere and everywhere! Most often it comes from music that strikes a chord with me, I get images in my head and do my best to convey them for everyone to see.
Are you strictly an artist, or do you have any other professions/passions?
Art is my deepest passion, even my day job is at an art museum. I want to be surrounded by it as much as possible.

What are your future goals as an artist? Where do you want to see your art taking you in the years to come?I have plans for organizing and curating new art shows, specifically shows benefiting equal rights organizations and charities. I believe that it is possible to make the world a better place through art and I intend to prove it.

I want to say a huge thank you to Katie for taking the time to participate in this post! I love learning about my artist friends, and their creative processes. I have always admired Katie's art and I really enjoyed having featured in an Artist Spotlight post! This is just a small sampling of her work, so please check out her Facebook and Etsy to see her other wonderful creations! 

If you would like to be featured in an Artist Spotlight post please feel free to send us a note here!

All photos are c/o Pritzl Arts

Monday, May 13, 2013

Pet Of The Week: Danni

Hello dear readers! I am so excited to bring you very special edition of the PotW! Please say hello to Danni the Pit Bull Terrier! Now I love volunteering at the animal shelter. I look forward to my Sunday shifts all week long. But this past week something really awesome happened, and it was all because of Danni.

Danni posing for her picture!

While I was walking Danni, we decided to stop and sit in the grass for a few minutes and talk to another friend/shelter volunteer. Danni was rolling around on her back, climbing in my lap, and giving me kisses as we talked. After a few minutes a family of three walked by and asked what kind of dog Danni was. As soon as I said the words, "Pit Bull" the father tensed up and retracted his hand that was about to pet Danni's head, and made a comments about how Pit Bulls are scary dogs. 

I  calmly replied that no, they are not. Pit Bull Terriers, just like any other dog breed, are wonderful, loving, family dogs. Their behavior is a reflection of their breeding and training. Yes, Pits are strong, sturdy dogs. But, they can be gentle and affectionate too.

How could anyone not just melt over this sweet face!?

The father looked at me in disbelief, but gingerly went to pet Danni's head again. And without missing a beat, little Danni girl perked up her ears, wagged her tail, nuzzled her head into this strange man's hand and lovingly licked his wrist. The look on this families face when Danni did this was priceless. You could see that this tiny, brown Pit was changing their minds about the breed. That, maybe not all Pit Bulls are the vicious, unpredictable dogs that the media usually makes them out to be. 

As the family gushed over Danni, the other volunteer that we had been talking to explained the SAFER program to them. And how the shelter uses it to temperament test all of the dogs that come through there. They seemed impressed, and even mentioned that their teenage son was needing to do some community service for school credit, and that they would look into having him volunteer at the shelter!

Danni enjoying an off leash romp in the shelter's dog park

Now, like I said. I love volunteering at the shelter. But I live for moments like this one. I am so proud of Danni for showing these three people what it really means to be a Pit Bull! Danni has such an awesome spirit, and an amazing personality. And as much as I love seeing her on Sundays, this little girl needs a loving forever home. She is a young adult dog that LOVES to play fetch and roll in the grass. Danni is pretty petite, and has beautiful golden eyes. She would make a great running partner, but also loves to cuddle on the couch. 

If you think that Danni would be a good match for your family, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control & Adoption Center in Franklin TN or Check out their Pet Finder page for their other adoptable pets!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Training Tip: Not even if its cute...

So lately I have been trying to break Axle of bad habit he has picked up. And I would be lying if said it wasn't my fault he started doing this. When I'm at home working on my laptop, Axle will usually sleeps by my feet or even sits next to me with his head in my lap. I love that he likes to be close to me all the time. He's an extremely affectionate dog. But a few weeks ago, he was feeling particularly needy and actually tried to climbed up in my lap. 

And being the push over that I am with the dogs, I let him. He sat there quite nicely with his bum on the ground and his fore paws and head resting in my lap. I knew that he really shouldn't be doing this, but it was just too stinkin' adorable! The next few days he repeated this. And to no real annoyance to me, I was still able to get my work done during the day. But it didn't take very long before he started pushing his boundaries.

It went from fore paws in my lap, to trying to wiggle his whole front end up and putting his head on the table. This I knew was not okay. Axle weighs about 65Lbs. Hes is a big dog. So I would push his head off the table and let him stay in my lap. But it didn't take but a few minutes before he would try and weasel his way back up. When I'm working at home or on the weekends, I get to spend time with my dogs, but its not always undivided time. I'm there, but I'm working... so I understand their need to try and get my attention.

But over the next couple days Axle kept pushing and pushing. Finally I had to just kick him out of my lap all together. It was getting out of hand, and it was my fault. Now he stands behind me a cries, because I won't let him back up in my lap when I'm working. He's confused because I let him do this before, and its breaks my heart to see him so sad. But I knew better, so I can only blame myself. If I had just told him 'No'  the first time he tried to climb on the table, we wouldn't be in this situation. But now I'm having to break him of this bad habit I let him get into, just because I thought it was cute the first couple times.

It will happen. I will eventually be able to let him rest his head in my lap when I'm working again. But it will take a lot of time before he won't try to climb up on the table anymore. But I have to own up to being the one who basically told him his was okay in the first place. The behavior is little more than an annoyance to me. He's my dog, so I'm used to him. But if he did this to a house guest I'd be mortified. If someone came over who was not familiar with dogs and sat down at my table, and then was proceeded to be climbed on by a 65 Lb dog it probably wouldn't end well.

So my message to you dear readers, is don't let your dogs get into bad habits you know you can prevent. If you don't want your dogs to climb on you when you are working, don't let them. Or if there is a 'no dogs on the couch' rule in your house, don't let there be a 'just this once' exception. Set your dogs up for success. Praise them when they are good, and always be firm on rules. Dogs need structure and they need to know what they are allowed and not allowed to do. It's a lot harder to train a dog to do something than to re-train him not to. So be consistent and guide them with a firm, but loving hand. A dog who understands and is clear on his boundaries is a happier dog. This will save both of you a lot of frustration in the long run. So don't give in to those puppy dog eyes!!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Pet of The Week: Aiden

Aiden is a Great Pyrenees mix who is absolutely wonderful. He is very sweet four year old boy, looking for a loving family. He is unfortunately heart worm positive, but will be treated after he is adopted. I am personally head over heals for this giant fluff ball. He is so sweet, and loving. Aiden has great leash manners, and knows how to sit. And I'm sure with time, and the right training he could learn many other commands/tricks. 

If you think that you could be a good match for Aiden, please contact the Williamson County Animal Control and Rescue Center in Franklin TN. Or check out their Pet Finder page for many other adoptable pets!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Dog Park Adventure: A New Park!

We have been frequenting a new park lately. I had no idea this one even existed, but its a lot closer to the house than our usual mid week hang out. This park is a little smaller, but its beautiful. There is a great walking trail, and even a big pond. These pictures are from last week, because its been storming really heavily the last few days, so we haven't been back yet. But hopefully the nice spring weather will return shorty, and we can head back!
 Waiting for new friends.
We met a pretty Akita named Willow
Clover likes to 'hunt' the other dogs sometimes. 

 Clover was stoked to see her old buddy Indy!
 Has has gotten SO BIG! And he is only about 7 months old, Indy is going to be HUGE when he is full grown.
The four of them were so happy to see each other again!
Fancy a seat?
 Axle enjoying the sunshine.

We plan on heading back to this park later this week as long as the weather is nice. What have you been up to lately? Do any of you take your dogs to the park? We love to learn all about our on line doggie friends. See your dog? Let us know in the comments section below, so we can put their name with their picture!

And don't forget to check out out Axle Bites Etsy shop! We just had our booth set up at the Franklin Art Scene this past Friday! Thanks for everyone that stopped by to buy some treats!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Axle Bites at The Franklin Art Scene!

Its that time again dear readers! We will be set up at the Franklin Art Scene tomorrow selling Axle Bites home made, all natural and organic, dog treats! Our booth will be at 225 2ND AVE SOUTH in Franklin from 6-9PM. So if you are in the Nashville area please come and say hi! Axle will be with me again to greet customers and mingle (read: mooch attention off anyone that walks in the door)! We will be debuting our NEW Sweet Potato flavor, as well as our BEST SELLING Peanut Butter and Pumpkin flavor treats. We hope that you will join us for some amazing art, food, drinks, and live music! If you are not in the Nashville area, we invite you to also check out our Etsy shop!
We will also be handing out flayers to help our sweet friend Macie find her forever home! If you or anyone you know is thinking of adopting a dog, Macie is a dog you need to meet! Please check out her pet finder page for more information!