Dog-Friendly Northern Colorado Breweries

dog friendly breweries in northern colorado

It’s no lie if you live in Colorado and you’re not already…you’ll become a beer connoisseur (with over ~140 craft breweries). I used to be that young girl drinking foo-foo cocktails, but the older I get, I’ve wised up. Plus, beer and wine? So much better. Heck, they’re both borderline health foods if you ask me.

So, as I’ve been slowly drinking my way through every brewery within a 20 60 mile radius and throughout Northern Colorado, I’ve done the extra work and noted down ones that allow your dog to join, too. Of course, I may have missed a few along the way, so feel free to give me a shout-out if you know of others.

With that being said, here’s a list of my favorite breweries in NoCo that are dog-friendly. Some even allow your dog indoors – bonus points for y’all. Did I mention how much I love Colorado?



Brix Taphouse | dog-friendly patio

Broken Plow | dog friendly patio and taproom* (*on non-brewing days)

Crabtree | dog-friendly patio and taproom

WeldWerks |dog-friendly patio



High Hops |dog-friendly patio



Grimm Brothers | dog friendly patio and taproom

Verboten Brewing | dog-friendly patio

Loveland Aleworks | dog-friendly patio

Crow Hop | dog-friendly patio



Horse & Dragon | dog-friendly patio and taproom

Funkwerks | dog-friendly patio and taproom

Odell Brewing COmpany | dog-friendly patio (dogs allowed to walk through taproom)

New Belgium | dog-friendly patio and taproom

Snowbank Brewing | dog-friendly patio and taproom



*Know of a brewery that is dog-friendly and not on this list? Shame. Please do share!

How To Make a Wine Barrel Dog Bed

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

Wine barrel, whiskey barrel, you get my drift. They’re adorable. And the perfect size for any dog under 50 pounds-ish. You may have seen them on Pinterest or elsewhere, but once I saw these wine barrel dog beds I knew I had to have one.

That is until I saw the $150-300 price tag. That’s not going to happen. We’ve got a house to buy. New mission: find a wine or whiskey barrel and make my own dog bed.

The first struggle was finding a whiskey or wine barrel that wasn’t $100 itself. I eventually found a full size half-whiskey barrel at The Home Depot for $39 – not bad (although when I went back to buy another they were sold out).

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

To turn this into a dog bed was fairly simple. Here’s how:

Remove the top metal band (this one was held in by a few screws) and we had to use a wedge and hammer to push it down.

This barrel was fairly tall so we decided to take 3″ off the top so we used a marker to measure 3″ down around the diameter where we would make our cut.

From there we drew our line with a Sharpie marking where the opening cut would be made. To get a smooth curve we used a very thin, long piece of wood and bend it to form a “U” shape. My dad held it while I drew the mark on the barrel.

We then turned the barrel on its side and used an electric saw to cut our opening.

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

After the cuts were made it was smooth sailing! We grabbed a couple pieces of coarse sandpaper and smoothed the edges so that no pups were left with wood splinters.

Finally, we used a pair of garden shears to cut the metal band at an angle to follow the curve of the opening and secured it to the side of the barrel with two screws on each side.

Top it off with a $10 bed that you can find at TJ Maxx and you’re ready to go!

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

If you’re spoiled, you’ll even get your name burned in the wood…

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

Life is good!

DIY Wine Barrel Dog Bed |

Until your brother steals your bed.


6 Tips for Clipping Your Dog’s Nails

We we’re at the vet the other day for a routine checkup and the tech ask if we want to have Rio’s nails clipped. I politely decline and mentioned that we do them ourselves. Meaning, I do them. Antonio refuses as he might cut them too short.

6 Tips for Trimming Your Dog's Nails |

When looking at the prices, I found that they charge 20-something bucks for a nail trim! I mean, I know I’m frugal and all, but seriously? Hire me, I’ll clip your dog’s nails. Totally not out to bash my vet (that we love), because I realize nail trims can be a total pain in the a_ _ for dogs like Lola, so this might be a case of where one ruins it for all.

Back to clipping dog nails. It sucks. Just ask Lola.

Rio on the other hand, piece of cake. 10 nails, followed a biscuit and he’s good to go within a few minutes.

Lola’s nail trims run more along the schedule of a trip to get a manicure. They take forever. She would literally run when she saw the clippers. She would yelp at every trim (drama queen). She would pull her paw away at the very last minute almost causing me to clip her toe off. You name it, she was not an easy patient.

But we’re finally there! I can clip her nails without her running from me, without help from Antonio and without her yelping at each “click” of the clippers. I may be the only one that can trim her nails, but that’s fine by me.

Please note: hardly anything in dog-land is an overnight fix. Everything takes time (and patience). We got to this point with Lola after several months. Months. So obviously don’t expect these tricks to be miracle workers – you still have to put in the time, but over time, your dog will should come around.

So let me save you some time and stress (for yourself and your dog) and share the little tips and tricks for trimming your dog’s nails that have worked for me!

Courtesy of Rich Health Kwik-Stop
Courtesy of Rich Health Kwik-Stop

1. Learn how to properly clip nails.

It’s important to learn how to properly trim your dog’s nails before diving in. If you clip too short, they will bleed. Which brings me to my second tip:

And make sure you have good clippers! Crappy clippers can mean un-clean cuts and pain for your dog. We use the Miller’s Forge brand and they have been awesome (and I think we only paid about $10 for them).

2. Always keep Kwik Stop nearby.

This is where Murphy’s Law comes into play – if you don’t have it next to you when trimming your dog’s nails, you’ll accidently cut too short.

3. Trim often.

This is a weekly routine with Lola. The more often you clip, the faster the quick will pull back.

4. Trim near a light or in daylight.

I’m lucky, Lola and Rio have white paws which means I can see their quick. So when I’m trimming their nails, I always make sure to have a bright light behind me or do it in the daytime near a window. This just gives me a little extra insurance and enables me to get as close to the quick as possible without causing the nail to bleed.

5. Bend their front paw back.

This is probably the one tip that helped me make progress with Lola. I eventually got to the point where back paws being trimmed were fine, but front paws? A nightmare. My theory: because she was watching me, she would anticipate the clip and it would freak her out. Here’s my solution:

I started asking her for a sit, giving her a treat and then grabbing her front paw, folding it under so that her paw was facing the ceiling and then I clip one front nail at a time. Treats are given in between. Here’s a visual below:

6. Bring on the treats!

Treats are essential. Don’t even bother if you’re not willing to reward. Lola now associates nail trims with fun and deliciousness. One nail = one treat. A tiny treat, but a treat nonetheless.

I started small, by desensitizing her to the nail clippers. I would touch her feet with the nail clippers and in return she would get a treat. I did this for several days. In between I would also get her used to me touching her paws, something she isn’t particularly fond of either.

Next I would do a few nails at a time and be done for the evening. You can work up to this as well. Start small, if you are making great progress, don’t push  it. Oh yeah, did I mention it’s 10 times easier to do this when they are absolutely pooped out?

*If you’ve given up all hope and have a dog that either gets aggressive over nail trims or you’ve truly tried it all…check out this awesome solution from my friend Jen at Dogthusiast!

5 Tips for Treating Dog Diarrhea

5 Tips for Treating Dog Diarrhea -

5 Tips for Treating Dog Diarrhea -

Sometimes I have to laugh at the text conversations the boyfriend and I have…I mean really, they’re quite romantic:

Me: Morning! Hope your day is going well, how does Rio’s poop look?

BF: Good morning. He didn’t go yet…

Me: Oh, well that’s a good sign! Let me know how it looks when he does go.

BF: He just went poo – it looks much better, mostly solid!

Me: Yay!


As I was typing out the title to this post I was thinking to myself, “Gross…”. But then I look back at all the times I was in desperate need of advice and was looking for exactly that. Dealing with foster dogs and Lola, who has a very sensitive stomach, we’ve had no shortage of dog diarrhea around here. So here ya go, tips and advice on what to do when your dog has diarrhea.

1. Skip a meal

Give your dog’s systems a chance to flush. Try not to feed anything for at least 12-24 hours.

2. Slowly introduce a bland diet to your dog

After skipping a meal, the next thing I feed my Lola and Rio is a bland meal for at least a couple days. Here’s what we usually make: rice + boiled ground beef + a spoonful of Greek yogurt.

You can also try Rice + boiled chicken (or turkey) + a small amount of pure pumpkin.

3. Pepto Bismol

Seriously. After my vet recommended this, it has been a life (and money) saver. Pepto is something you likely have in your medicine cabinet – and it works. I give Lola and Rio (40-50lbs) a tablespoon or so and serve it right on top of the bland dog food or give it alone. This combined with the above tips has cured many episodes of an upset tummy.

4. Fish Zole

Okay, I won’t lie – when my dogs have had parasites such as giardia, coccidia, or just diarrhea, there isn’t much I wouldn’t have done for a Metronidazole (Flagyl) prescription. It stops diarrhea almost instantly. And yes, we’ve had all of the above. Unfortunately that’s one of the downsides to fostering dogs – but they’re totally worth it.

Well here’s the life-changing news I found out recently: you can buy an over-the-counter product called FISH-ZOLE (found at Petsmart, Walmart…or any fish supply store) which is the prescription Metronidazole (Rx) bottled and labeled for fish tank use. It is a bottle of 250 mg x 100 tablets of Metronidazole.  It’s the same tablets that your Vet will prescribe to you for any parasite or diarrhea issue; same tablets, same color, same size – the same. Here’s the recommended dosage: a 25lb dog should get one 250 mg tablet twice per day, a 50lb dog would get two (500mg) tablets twice per day for a total of 5 days.

5. Slowly re-introduce your dog’s regular diet

After your dog has a chance for their system to calm down, work out whatever was upsetting their GI, slowly re-introduce their normal diet. For Lola and Rio we usually make a big batch of the rice and boiled beef, and give a couple spoonfuls on top of their food for the first couple days back on regular food.

Note: These tips have saved us so many times! However, I’m not a vet nor am I advising you not to see a vet – because anytime we think something is wrong with Lola or Rio, we don’t hesitate to make them an appointment. But sometimes we try a new brand of treats or they eat something they shouldn’t and these simple tips have saved us and made them feel better almost immediately. *If your dog has liquid/water consistency stool vs. pudding type stools, it’s time to contact a vet. Liquid stools could lead very quickly to dehydration.

Enough about dog poo, here are some other articles I think you’ll enjoy:

*We Asked Our Fans: What do you love most about your pit bull?

*Gift ideas for those who have lost a dog

*Natural Flea & Tick Preventatives – what we’ve tried and what works

Holiday Gift Guide For Dog Lovers: 2014

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers!

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers!

If you’re like me, come mid-November you are wandering aimlessly around TJ Maxx and Macy’s looking for gifts, only to find stuff for yourself. Happens. Every. Time.

So I’m here to save you from buying pumpkin spiced body lotion, candles and whatever other good-for-anyone-gift and get the dog lover on your list something that they’ll love. And use.

I’ve spent a lot of time finding companies and products that are making a difference in their communities, have awesome products, and that I love. I think you will, too. Enjoy!

1. KAE-O Clothing

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers!

Born From Love. Driven By Passion. Fighting for Life.”

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers - Pit Bull Mom T-shirt

KAE-O is fighting against the abuse and abandonment of pit bulls by donating 25% of its proceeds to their current non profit partner (currently Karma Rescue in California).

If their mission isn’t enough to persuade you, their amazingly comfy and stylish clothing will. Because we’ve all bought that Gildan cardboard t-shirt that while yes, a portion of the proceeds went to a good cause, is never going to be worn. Not with their clothes! The ‘Save a Life’ hoodie I’m wearing in the photo is seriously my favorite sweatshirt, hands down.

2. Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co.

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers - Grounds & Hounds Coffee

Grounds & Hounds Coffee Co. was started by Jordan Karcher, who just so happens to be a rescue dog owner himself.  The company was born out of his passion to give back to the animals by offering delicious coffee – two of the most important things in my life!

Fair trade, organic coffee company where 20% of all revenue received is donated to rescue groups. Pretty awesome.  And coming from a coffee snob, I’m confident in saying that you’ll love their coffee.

Even Lola and Rio approve.

3. Woo Woo Workshop ID Tags

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers - Woo Woo Workshop Dog Accessories

I’ve been swooning over these dog tags for quite a while after finding them on Etsy. And after getting to know owner and founder, Melissa, I knew it was a company I’d proudly stand behind. Their customer service is top-notch, their designs are amazing, and they are very reasonably priced!

Check out the full line of unique, artisan, pet oriented id tags & accessories from Woo Woo Workshop!

And trust me, we have definitely heard our fair share of the “woo woo” song!

4. Great books for dog lovers!

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers - Great books to buy

If you haven’t read the story of Wallace the pit bull you’re missing out. This book will have you laughing, tearing up, and cheering Wallace on in every chapter. Pit bull advocates and dog lovers alike will enjoy this amazing true story of an underdog who rose to the top, becoming one of the most influential pit bulls in history!

*For a $25 donation to Wallace the Pit Bull Foundation, you will receive a Wallace book, pawtographed with Wallace’s paw stamp! Each book is hand stamped from an image of Wallace’s actual paw print taken on the day he passed. Purchase on!

If there’s anyone that has a magnificent way with words it’s Ken Foster, author of I’m a Good Dog. His insight, intelligence and stories will move you beyond words. Fellow pit bull lovers, this book is a true gift; one that should be given and received.

*Purchase I’m a Good Dog by Ken Foster through

 5. Pet Subscription Box


Subscription boxes just might be taking over the world and for good reason: they are a darn good idea. I mean, who doesn’t like to get packages in the mail? I feel like a giddy nine year old waiting for a package to come – so knowing that something for my dogs would be coming every month (and what’s inside is a surprise!), is a perfect gift.

I personally recommend BarkBox – they are a great company who believes in giving back (they’re a sponsor for the Monster Holiday Drive we are participating in and will donate one box to our drive for every subscription)! This box is guaranteed to brighten you and your dog’s day when it arrives at your doorstep each month!

6. Spot Farms Treats

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers - Spot Farms Treats

These aren’t your average bag of dog treats, people; these are more like the filet mignon of dog treats. I’m kind of picky about what goes in our dogs mouths if you haven’t already noticed. And there’s no doubt that they eat cleaner and healthier than I do. Check out our review of Spot Farms treats from earlier in 2014!

We love that Spot Farms offers human grade treats made using the very best antibiotic-free meats from farm families across the U.S. You won’t find any fillers such as corn, wheat or soy in their treats!

“We make sure our treats are chock full of things that are good for your dog, like antioxidant-rich cranberries and Omega-3–rich flaxseeds.” -Spot Farms

Find Spot Farms dog treats at Petco, and too many other places to list, ha. Check out their site for the deets.

7. Homemade Dog Biscuits

If you have the time and you’re looking for a small thoughtful gift to hand out to a handful of friends, homemade dog treat recipes are totally fun to make (and cost effective)! Get creative and package them in cute little bags. Here are a couple of my favorite treats that would package well:

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits

Homemade Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits

Peanut Butter Banana Dog Treats

Peanut butter Banana + Flax seed dog biscuits

8. Toys & Fashion

Just a few of our favorite toys that I know your pups will love! And the monkey hoodie – totally adorable!!!

Lola the Pitty's Holiday Gift Guide for Dog Lovers

a. Jolly Ball – ever since we found this toy, we can’t keep Lola or Rio away from it!

b. Kong Wobbler Food and Treat Dispensing Dog Toy – entertainment galore.

c. Monkey Hoodie by Chilly Dog – the ears on this hoodie make it over-the-top cute!

d. Chuck-It. a.k.a. your best friend if your dog obsesses over tennis balls as ours do.

There ya have it, we hope you love these ideas as much as we do!

Keep your eyes peeled for a pit bull lovers’ specific gift guide, as I’ve got plenty of ideas up my sleeve.

We Asked Our Fans: What Do You Love Most About Your Pit Bull?

We asked our fans - "What Do You Love Most About YOUR Pit Bull" - here's what they said.

We asked our fans - "What Do You Love Most About YOUR Pit Bull" - here's what they said.

After a recent post, 15 Things My Dog Has Taught Me, it sparked the question, “What do you love most about your dog…your pit bull?”. So I set out to our loyal Facebook fans and asked them what they love most about their pit bulls. I absolutely loved reading the responses and seeing how much joy our dogs bring to our lives, regardless of breed.

Here’s what our friends had to say!


Her Love, loyalty, and kisses” – Cassie M.

 I love her kindness and play bows when greeting new dogs – still, at 15 years old. I love her snoring and her happy talking when she rolls around on her back after a nap. I love how she will sit for photographs, but dislikes looking at the camera. I love how she trusts me 100%.” – Sherrie S.

Their unconditional love!! Life is better with a four-legged furbaby!!” – Ashley T.

“Love and companionship without judgment” – Rachelle C.

They all have such different personalities! I love Lili’s way of getting my attention. She’s subtle, but relentless. I love her playful, happy, bouncing spirit. I love how Rufus is the guardian of the group. He wants to be where I am, he’s my best buddy, he’s everyone’s best friend, and he’s so incredibly sweet, mellow and charming. I love Kane’s sass and attitude, because underneath it all is this giant, playful mama’s boy. I love Kane’s ability to say “mama”. He’s my talker! And then there’s Simon… I love his eyebrows, his underbite, and his zest for life. He’s all eyes and all ears all the time. I love how he’s so desperate to try to learn new tricks, and how he throws out all of his tricks when I’m trying to teach him something new. I love how all of them snuggle, and how sweet and charming they all are.” – Stephanie W.

“I love everything about this girl!” – Corey B.

I love her because she’s totally goofy! Always cheerful. ” – Jeanine L.

I love Jack’s playfulness, his loyalty, his kissable face…” – Stephanie L.

[Tweet “”She makes me a better trainer and a better person.” – Lori N. #pitbulladvocate”]

My pit bull is my best friend, she is confident and her beautiful smile makes everything okay again even on the worst of days…and she is a world class snuggler”! – Tina H.

Love, loyalty, and pure happiness in both of mine” – Annette G.

“She loves road trips, adventures and the beach!” – Deborah G.

I love Snoopy for the way she won me over and helped heal my heart when I didn’t think I was ready to get another pittie so soon after my last one crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I went to the Animal Humane Society in Buffalo to look and walked out with my new purpose” – Nicole P.

Oh gosh there’s so many things, but one is how they are always so happy and smiling.” – Andrea C.

I love the wiggly butt, the kisses and her loyalty. She is my baby girl and this smile says it all!” – Julie D.

I love the way her tail helicopters when she sees someone she loves. I love the way she sits like a 15 year old boy. I love the way she loves me. I love her smile, her devotion, her desire to be with us. She is my little girl.” – Jennifer C.

The way he makes me laugh.” – Sarah H.

The way she is so excited to see me when I come home, the way she loves to snuggle with me, the head tilt when I am talking to her, and her gentle, loving spirit! She is my baby!” – Sherry C.

His enthusiasm & smile when I get back home from work or a trip.” – Michael H.

I love his loyalty, his unconditional love. I love his ability to move on from his past and love humans no matter how he’d been treated before finding me!” – Tails of a Foster Mom

I love how Snow makes me appreciate the simple things in life” – Princess & Karma

“They bring so much joy to my life. I never wanted a pitbull and now I have them. They have the BEST personalities and are so in tune with their surroundings.” – Brianne H.

I love that no matter what happens, no matter who turns their back on me, my ‘Pit Bull’ will always be there for me.” – Gabrielle S.

I just love everything about my Kirby…how he talks to me when he wants to play, his unconditional love, his gentleness with the grandkids, the ways he has to make sure I understand just what he wants and the way he says thank you when he gets it!” – Donna H.

I love that no matter what type of day I’ve had Brahma can make me smile, feel loved, and know that everything is going to be okay. He is the definition of love and perseverance. When he was 6 months old he was hit by a snowmobile and almost died. Even though they saved his leg he’s missing a huge chunk of his hip and you’d never know. Nothing stops him from doing what he loves and making people smile. He’s my best friend” – Sin C.

“My babies make everyday a great day and without them I don’t know where I’d be” – Lisa R.

“I love how she wiggles when she’s happy and how she RAH RAH ROOS in her sweet pittie language. I love how her eyes widen when she tastes something she extra loves (like peanut butter, her all-time favorite!). All of these reasons and more are why she is my company’s Brand Ambassador. All I have to do is post pictures of her on social media and tell stories of her sweetness, and she is doing so much good in the world by changing people’s perceptions of pits.” – Katherine, KOTAW Marketing

My Rampage is my world. He is the most patient understanding dog I’ve ever owned.” – Logan Noelle S.

“They care for me and have helped me heal from my stroke and through my disabilities.” – Judy U.

I love how my sweet ol’ girl (nine years old) has opened her heart to the pestering of a new puppy. She’s had her home and her humans all to herself for three years but never shows an ounce of jealousy. And my new pup…. I just love his energy and enthusiasm! And the way he gets like a turtle on his back and ‘talks’ til he can get himself rolled back up right!” – Denise K.

How cuddly she is!” – Julie M.

Life is just better with a pibble!” – Susannah D.

What do you love most about your pit bull? Share below!

15 Things My Pit Bull Has Taught Me

Homemade Dog Treat Recipes!

Behind the Scenes of an Animal Rescue

Behind the Scenes of Animal Rescue - common questions & answers - @lolathepitty

Behind the Scenes of Animal Rescue - common questions & answers - @lolathepitty

It hit me the other day when I was talking to someone who wasn’t a “dog nerd” (yes, I’m categorizing myself as a dog nerd) that not everyone is sure how animal rescues operate. So while this may be common sense to many of my friends, I think there are many people that can benefit from this little inside scoop. Just as I’ve learned with everything in life, you can never assume. Plus, I figure the more information we can get out there about rescuing and adoption animals – the better.

Much of this information I’ve learned from volunteering and fostering with a rescue in Minnesota, Secondhand Hounds, and I’ve also consulted with another friend of mine who is a director of an animal rescue.

So here’s the low down:

What does an animal rescue do exactly?

Animal rescues are essentially the ‘middle man’ for dogs, cats, and other animals that for whatever reason, do not have a home. They network the animals and find them temporary (foster) homes until they are adopted into a permanent home. Some rescues have limited shelter space for a small number of animals if they cannot find a foster immediately.

Is there something wrong with the animals that are in rescue? Why are they in rescue?

Dogs do not always end up in a shelter or rescue because they have some kind of freakish disease and no one wants them (yes, I’ve been asked this). So no, not necessarily. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. They are just like any dog you buy or adopt. You may not always know their past and you may want to get a DNA test done if you are concerned about the breed, but being in rescue does NOT automatically indicate that there is anything ‘wrong’ with the animal – their lives just didn’t have as fortunate of a start as others.

Are these animals “put” in rescue because there is something wrong with them? No, they did not choose to be in rescue, they’ve just somehow ended up there because of one of the following: they were abandoned, they were surrendered by their original owner, they were lost and their owner never came to claim them from the shelter, they were seized from a hoarding situation, they came from a breeder that was shut down, they were saved from a dog fighting operation, etc. These are just a handful of the reasons that a dog may have come to be in rescue.

Shelters and rescues have a great selection of adult dogs, puppies, and even purebreds for adoption. According to, on average, purebreds account for about 25 to 30 percent of a shelter’s dog population. And the fees are usually much less than the purchase price from a pet store or breeder. Plus your dog comes vaccinated and spayed or neutered.

Where do rescues get their animals from?

Rescues have animals come in from many different places. Here are just a few:

– Animal shelters

– Owner surrenders

– Craigslist or other online sites (There are many dangers of ‘selling’ a dog for a small re-homing fee online)

*View the adoptable dogs of the week that we feature every Thursday*

What is the difference between an animal shelter & a rescue?

An animal rescue makes sure that the animal finds a family to adopt the animal. Rescues do not euthanize a dog in order to make room for another (however they may put down a dog that is seriously ill). These rescues have very limited space as most of the animals are kept in private foster homes (just like yours and mine) and are supported primarily by grants and donations.

Shelters handle the stray dogs within the community and receive animals affected by state cruelty and neglect laws. They also receive pets that are dropped off by their owners for various reasons. There are two types of shelters:

No-kill shelters: accept animals on a voluntary or space available basis. A no kill shelter does not euthanize animals who can be adopted or when the shelter is full. They may euthanize animals who are terminally ill or considered dangerous.

Traditional/open admission shelters: accepts any and all companion animals regardless of health, temperament, or space available, with no limitation. These shelters have high euthanasia rates to make room for incoming animals.

Why does it cost so much to adopt a dog?!

It doesn’t. I can tell you first hand that it is actually A LOT less expensive to adopt a dog than buy one elsewhere (or even be given a dog). Lola did not technically come from an organized rescue group (rather we intercepted her before she ended up in one or somewhere else) and the first year we had her, we spent over $1,000 in vet bills. Mind you, this was just your basic vaccinations, deworming, blood tests, spay, etc.

This illustration below shows a rescue dogs true cost:

Poster via

How do I find a dog that is with a rescue group?

Dogs that are available for adoption within a rescue are often found on, public adoption events, social media sites, or on the rescue group’s website. You can do a Google search for rescues in your area and then follow them on Facebook – trust me, you’ll soon find yourself involved.

Why do I have to go through an adoption process? Why can’t I just go and see the dog I want to adopt? 

Most rescues do not have a physical location where they keep the dogs. The dogs are kept in individual foster homes, sometimes very far away. Also, since these animals are already very likely on their second (or more) home, there is a screening process. A potential adopter must fill out an application to meet the animal and the rescue will then (most commonly) distribute the applications to the adopter who will then arrange a ‘meet and greet’ with the interested adopter and the rescue dog. This may take place over one or more meetings. Typically we have just met with the potential adopters once and we then both decide if it went well and if we would like to proceed and fill out the adoption paperwork.

Quite often though, rescues have adoption events where the fosters and volunteers will bring the dogs to a central public location for the public to meet the dogs.

What is required of a foster? How do I get involved?

A foster provides in-home care for animals in need until they are adopted. To become a foster, you first fill out an application with the rescue group and the rescue will then make sure that you have a safe home for the animal – that’s it. This is usually a very fast process as rescues are very short on foster homes. Oh yeah, and it’s free with most rescues. Yep – that’s right, the rescue pays for the vet bills of the animal, the food and even the crates/toys/etc. You just provide the shelter, care and love!

*Read the story of how we rescued two stray dogs.

How long can an animal stay in rescue?

Once an animal is placed with a rescue group, they will stay in the foster home until they find a home. Sometimes this takes years. Sometimes the dog is transferred to a new foster home. While the dog is in rescue, the rescue group is responsible for all the costs of owning a dog – as you can imagine, this can get very expensive with as many animals as rescues have!

In these next couple questions I’ve consulted with Darren, who is the director of a local rescue in Minnesota, Across America Boxer Rescue.

How do the rescues learn of the dogs that are out of state that need rescue?

“This varies by rescue and how involved they are in social media. Most rescues get info from their members/friends/acquaintances or cross-posters (this is the most prevalent one) tagging them, posting to their page or individual pages as well as emailing them of available dogs. These dogs can be in a shelter or on Craigslist.

Most rescues also have several shelters they either work with or have a relationship with. Those shelters then know what breeds they pull and will give them heads up when they have a dog come that is in need. For instance, our rescue has a great working relationship with Indiana Animal Control (IACC) and Chicago Animal Care and Control (CACC), two VERY large Midwest ACC’s that many dogs go to and thankfully many get saved!” – Darren Alick, Across America Boxer Rescue

Who do the rescues work with to transport dogs from state to state? Are they all volunteers or are there people whose job is just to transport?

“It depends on who you are using and where the dogs are being transported from and to. I personally do not know of a rescue in our area that uses paid transports. There are three main transporters for the southeast, south and midwest that I know of. I have worked alongside of two of them when they transport for my rescue and rescues I also volunteer for. All three are volunteers who fully coordinate a transport form start to finish. Meaning they layout out the distances, the stops, arrange for overnight homes as well as ensure all drops-offs go smoothly and everyone is sticking to the schedule. Each segment or “leg” of a run is calculated for distance and time to help everyone keep to that schedule. The drivers within that pool and who drive each leg are also volunteers, doing it for the love of knowing they’re contributing to saving dogs from otherwise terrible situations and euthanasia. Lori Weese, who transports for our rescue, also runs dogs for several other rescues within that same transport. Sometimes the dogs may be going to several different rescues, the transporter is just responsible for that portion of the rescue process.” – Darren Alick, Across America Boxer Rescue

Do you have any questions about animal rescue? Ask away!

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits

Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits |

Homemade Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuit Recipe |

Things I like about these Mint-Parsley-Buckwheat dog treats:

  • The entire batch fits on one cookie sheet. (As you learned with my Peanut Butter Banana dog treats, I’m not a fan of rolling out dough for an hour.)
  • They help with stinky dog breath…’nuff said.
  • I have extra fresh parsley & mint to use for human recipes.

I was at a Pet Expo a few weekends ago with our friend Amaya and her SDiT Tater. We couldn’t help but stop by the homemade dog treat booth and one treat that caught my eye was a dog biscuit made with buckwheat flour.

I’ve honestly never baked with buckwheat flour (partially because I tried buckwheat pancakes one time and umm, yeah….), but I immediately knew I wanted to try and create my own version but of course didn’t have a recipe for one.

I played with the ingredients a little bit and initially tried to make it without the egg but it was too dry – so after a little trial and error I think I’ve perfected it! I hope your pups enjoy these as much as Lola & Rio.


4.8 from 6 reviews
Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuits
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
I call these the dog's after dinner mints! The parsley and mint in these treats is great for helping with bad doggy breath!
Serves: 20-24
  • 1½ cups buckwheat flour (I used Bob's Red Mill)
  • 4 Tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon pure honey
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • water (approx. 1-3 tsp)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, stir buckwheat flour, parsley and mint leaves together until combined
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil and honey.
  4. Pour olive oil-honey mixture into the flour and stir. Add egg and stir until well combined.
  5. Knead dough with hands to thoroughly mix the ingredients together. Add a teaspoon of water at a time to help the dough come together. This should take about 3-5 minutes.
  6. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to approx. ¼" thick.
  7. Cut into desired shapes with cookie dough cutter.
  8. Place biscuits onto a nonstick baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Store biscuits in an airtight container in the fridge to keep fresh.

Homemade Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuit Recipe |

This recipe yielded exactly 21 treats for me, using a 2″ cookie cutter.

They are a thin, crispy biscuit and are very easy to break into pieces.

I’ve been putting one on top of Lola & Rio’s dinner and they love it!

Homemade Mint Buckwheat Dog Biscuit Recipe |

Related Posts

   Yogurt-Carrot Puppy Smoothies   |  Peanut Butter Banana Flax Seed Biscuits  |  Dog Safety with Children


My First Foster

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I found myself tearing up as I was looking through photos from the couple months that we had Weeser. I had a lump in my throat when I would find myself talking about him, thinking about him and I couldn’t help but wonder – did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him?

Weeser was a weak four-month old pup when he was transported from Kentucky to Minnesota. The first photo I saw of him is burned in my head. He was in a dark dungeon-like shelter hiding behind rusty bars. He was just standing there on the concrete floor looking up into the bright flash of the camera. He looked helpless, miserable and he needed us.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

We contacted the rescue that was going to pull him from the shelter and said, “We’ll take him, we can foster him!”. That was all it took, we just saved his life…

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

Lola had just came into our lives a couple months prior and this whole idea of fostering was very new to us. I will never forget the day we went to the rescue and picked up Weeser. He was so weak. His legs bowed outwards and he looked like a newborn foal when he would run. He had virtually no muscle development. But after all, he had been living in a DARK dungeon with minimal exercise.

Lola and Weeser bonded immediately. They had so much to ‘talk’ about. They would wrestle, play (pee on the floor) and then recharge their little batteries like any two puppies would do. They were two peas in a pod and literally inseperable.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

The question began to enter my mind, how I am ever going to let him go?

Is it going to be like this with every dog that we foster?

Can we afford to keep two dogs?

Will Lola bond with another dog like she has with Weeser?

I still remember the moment when I received the first email with the subject line, “Adoption Application – Weeser”.

I’ll admit, I was basically conducting a thorough search of the applicant…stalking them as if they were applying for a job with the CIA, trying to figure out if they could ever possibly be fit to take care of my precious Weesy boy. Because how is anyone ever going to give him as good of a home as we can? Will they leave him home alone all the time in a crate? What if he ends up back in a shelter? The questions would not stop flooding my mind.

Two other applications came in and well, as much as I hated (yes, hated) to admit it…there was one family that sounded perfect. A mother and her three children – Weeser would receive lots of exercise and hardly ever be left home alone. So we agreed to meet them and it went wonderful. They loved him, he loved them. Of course they did, it was Weeser. It was bittersweet.

Another email came in from the rescue organization requesting for me to let them know how everything went with our meet-and-greet. I was hesitant – should I tell them it didn’t work out and we’ll be adopting Weeser? What should I do!?

Well, I replied and told them that I liked the family and everything went well – the truth.

Next, an email copying me, it read, “Congratulations, your home visit has been approved!”.

NOOOO… I had just approved the adoption and it hit me like a ton of bricks. Thirty minutes later another notification on my phone, an  email outlining the details of the adoption:

1) Adopter makes payment with a debit/credit card through our website.
2) Vetting Manager signs the adoption contract electronically via
Right Signature AFTER this animal is spayed/neutered and vaccinated.
Vet records will be emailed to the new owners
after an adoption is finalized.
3) Foster signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link. Please make sure to check
the boxes and fill in every blank next to the check boxes.
4) Adopter signs the contract electronically by opening the email from
Right Signature and clicking on the link provided. Once adopter signs
the form, another email from Right Signature will be sent to all
signers with the completed PDF contract attached (adopters, please
save this email since it’s proof of adoption).
5) Foster contacts Adopter to pick up new pet AFTER the adoption
contract is signed by everyone and payment has been made.

WAIT, what is happening. Can I have a few days to let this soak in? I WANT Weeser, I want to adopt him! I called my mom, distraught and upset. I think I just made the biggest mistake… Weeser is PERFECT. The bond between Weeser and Lola was truly one of the most precious things I have ever seen in my twenty something years of existence. How would we ever find another playmate like him? I cannot let him go…I can’t. But I have to. I broke down, my heart felt heavy and tears flooded my eyes, I had a giant lump in my throat.

Lola loved him so much. She even went into a mini depression period when he left. She would sulk around, head hanging and would lay in his favorite spot, waiting for him to come back… but we both knew he was gone. I cannot bring myself to delete any of his photos. Yes, I know I have 15 photos of one pose where his head may be turned slightly different.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

And to answer my own questions:

Is it going to be like this with every foster? > No.

Could every dog we have fostered fit into our family? > Yes.

Could we have afforded Weeser? > Yes.

Will Lola bond with another dog as she did with Weeser? > Well, no – not yet.

My First Foster Dog - did I make a mistake? Should we have kept him? {}

I still miss Weeser, but we saved his life. He is living a beautiful life now and I know that he is loved – loved as much as I love him. I am still in contact with his family and they send me an occasional photo of Mr. Weesy.

I have to look back and remember that moment, that moment that we said we could foster him and those few words changed his life forever. And while I am tearing up as I write this, I have to accept that what I did was right. I loved him, I cared for him, I helped him grow strong and I ensured that his perfect family found him, my job here was done. I believe that Weeser came into our lives for a very special reason and I feel fortunate to have made an impact on his life and in return, he made one on mine.

And the moment I knew it was right was when his new mom walked in the door to pick him up. Weeser greeted her with a wagging tail, excitement, and tons of puppy kisses. We said our goodbyes and then they left and suddenly I knew everything was going to be alright…

*Read my other favorite blog posts*

Link up to Dachshund Nola and Sugar The Golden Retriever to share your Black & White Sunday.

My Dog Bit My Child

Dog Safety With Children -

I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when I came across something very disturbing to me. There was a photo of a young boy. For privacy, I will refer to the characters in this story as Buddy and Matthew. Matthew was being held in his mother’s arms and had several stitches across his chin and lip with the caption, “I can’t believe this happened…”.

Naturally, the following comments entailed remarks such as:

What happened?!
OMG? Is he ok?!
Text me, I’m here for you…

Then there was the reply that everyone was anticipating, “Buddy bit Matthew”.

I was scrolling through the comments and most of them were replies with concerns of the boy’s health and one that stood out to me, “May I ask, how did this happen with Buddy?”. I did not expect a reply but shortly thereafter the mom said, “Oh you know, Matthew was up in Buddy’s face barking and growling at him”.

My heart sunk. I was irritated, disappointed, annoyed, sad, frustrated. So many emotions ran through my head. I had to hold myself back when thinking about commenting. Because what would I say? How would I not come across as a total B!?

Soon after the initial Facebook post, the mom followed up with the post that brought tears to my eyes, “RIP Buddy, our hearts are heavy we will always love and miss u and never imagined anything like this happening”.

Buddy was a family dog of seven years who bit Matthew after being provoked. As mentioned above, I will not go into details about the family nor the dog. Many of you are probably wondering – was he a pit bull? And no, he was not.

Looking back, I believe this situation could have been prevented. I realize, “Matthew probably always played with Buddy like this and nothing had ever happened before”. But I believe that it is a parents responsibility to teach their kids to respect animals and not to taunt or tease them. Even though a dog may tolerate the treatment, does not mean that they enjoy it and does not ensure that they will continue to tolerate it.

How Kids SHOULD Interact With Dogs - Lola The Pitty 'My Dog Bit My Child' - poster via Dr. Sophia Yin
Poster via: Dr. Sophia Yin

This issue is a very sensitive subject with us and Lola. When Lola was very young we brought her over to an extended family member’s house. There were several little children there who immediately ran up to Lola reaching for her face and then started tugging on her tail and ears. We politely asked them not to do that and they stopped for a moment and then when the next opportunity came along, they were right back at it. Lola was literally clawing at my leg for me to pick her up. At this point it was becoming irritating that the parents were not doing a whole lot besides at best, “oh, stop that please…”. I then just held Lola in my lap and we soon removed ourselves from the situation. Looking back on the scenario, I would have done things differently…(isn’t that always the case?).

Currently, we are still working on rehabilitating Lola’s fear of toddlers and small children. It certainly left a lasting impression on her.

How Kids SHOULD NOT Interact With Dogs - Lola The Pitty 'My Dog Bit My Child' - poster via Dr. Sophia Yin
Poster via Dr. Sophia Yin

These posters from Sophia Yin are a great illustration of how dogs and children should interact. (You can even print a large poster-size version from her site.)

Poster Via Dr. Sophia Yin
Poster Via Dr. Sophia Yin

There are plenty of resources out there – use them, share them. Even if an adult notices the signs, a child may not. That’s how accidents happen. Even if your dog and child have been raised together, it only takes once. PLEASE, teach your children respect and how to properly treat a dog. Even though your dog may tolerate it, every dog has a breaking point.

Very important - teaching children to respect animals at a young age. Via

Related articles:

Kids and Dogs: How Kids Should and Should Not Interact with Dogs – Dr. Sophia Yin

Didn’t see that bite coming? Look a little harder. – DogTime

Preventing Dog Bites – Dr. Sophia Yin