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As many of you know, I am a licensed wedding officiant and my business is called Nonconformist Nuptials. I write one-of-a-kind nondenominational ceremonies for those who dislike the typical cookie-cutter approach to weddings.

One of things I love to include in these ceremonies is the couples’ beloved pets. My dearly departed Westie, Ludwig, was the ring bearer in my wedding! To that end, I want to promote The Dog Perk (owned and operated by Tony and Amy Waara, colleagues of mine through the PetPAC business networking group) and their new line of wedding-focused dog bandanas.

Get a load of these terrific designs:

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Today, I’m heading out to my sister Diane’s place to help her out after her second surgery on her wrist. She broke it last summer and had a plate and screws put in. Her carpal tunnel tendon was then squeezed by scar tissue and her hand was numb. They did a carpal tunnel release yesterday, and she’s feeling better. Yippee!

But she recently stepped up and offered to foster a young boxer named Sassy for a friend who is between houses, and therein lies a problem. She can’t let Sassy out in the backyard the same time as her two older dogs, Corky and Bruno, because the rambunctious youngster runs roughshod over them and has already hurt them unintentionally because she has 40+ pounds on them. That’s where I come in. I have to go there and give Sassy some much-needed exercise to tucker her out so she’ll be a bit more manageable for Diane. I also have to open cans of food because my one-handed sister can’t manage that either. 🙂

Only problem is I haven’t walked my own dogs for several days because of the slush-and-muck state of the sidewalks. (We’re in Minnesota and the snow is beginning to melt into puddles of yuckiness—NOT my favorite time of year. It’s gorgeous when it’s all white with new snow and when the snow is soaked up and grass begins to grow again. Between times…ugh!) My sweet little white dogs develop blackened under chassis every time the walk with me, and trust me it takes a LONG time to bathe and dry FOUR Westies. I’m feeling quite guilty for walking a complete stranger dog while my own pack goes stir crazy in our house. I may have to break down and let them get filthy anyway. I do, after all, believe in the adage: “Dirty dogs have more fun.”

Oliver, Blanche, Keely and Ambrose beg me to walk them.

Actually, a favorite T-shirt of mine from the Dog Perk reads “Dirtiness is next to dogliness.” Yep, I’ve talked myself into it despite the fact that my hubby and I spent most of last Sunday cleaning the dogs and grooming them with an electric clipper and my amateurish attempts not to create divots in their fur. They look rather pretty again, a far cry from their season’s-long ragamuffin appearance beforehand. I was so enjoying them being clean, soft and fresh-smelling, re-filthifying them is not an easy decision. But I can’t exactly explain to them that they aren’t going to be walked until mid-May! I’ll have a mutiny on my hands. All right, all right, I’m getting my walking shoes now…

Oh what a responsible dog-mom does for her babies!—Sid

I was at the Pet Project’s MN Pet Food Drive to supply local food shelves with food for hungry four-legged family members who are suffering right along with their humans during this recession. One of my co-vendors there was The Dog Perk, creators of fun, unique T-shirts, sweatshirts and other products for dog lovers.

My personal favorite (for which I’ve put in a Christmas gift request with my hubby) is “Dirtiness is next to Dogliness.” Give them a look-see, as well as the pet portraits of Sarah Beth Photography, personalized products of Personalized Pooch—more about these two on my blog’s Pet Loss Memorial Products page—and the touching, profound book, 8 State Hurricane Kate, (below) by Jenny Pavlovic. My thanks to them all for supporting the Pet Food Drive.

I’ll be sure to let you know when I learn how much food was collected at this event.

Here’s what I learned from Lisa at Fetch Delivers, one of the event’s sponsors:

Looks like we just met our goal of 10,000#’s (American Agco gave me 3000+lbs for the event) And over $800 raised and counting, as Fetch will donate some proceeds from the promo we offered to the event goers.

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