Friday, September 23, 2011

The Puppy's Name Is....

When Hudson came into my life there was never any doubt his name would be an homage to the girl who blessed me with Malcolm. Great gifts should be honored thus.
By that time she was living in Manhattan and I didn’t have to scan my memory of the city long before I reached its west river. And while only five years has past, it feels like eons and I wasn’t really certain how I wanted to go about naming our new BFF (Baby Fuzzybutt Four).

Given the giant pawprints before him I decided to travel with him for a stretch and get to know the lil fell’r first.

As everyone who has met him can attest to, he is absolutely fearless. Alone in Patty and Pascal’s Cincinnati backyard with five Bernese Mountain dogs piling on top of him, he never cowered, never whined and indeed set about to attack each one systematically. And of the dozen or so laps he’s ridden in on our daisy chain to Maine, he slept sweetly and soundly.

Okay. So far, he’s adventurous, fearless, and travels well but we had lots of really cool names put up on facebook that could apply and nothing was really standing out.

Some of the ones suggested that appealed to me were Miles, Rio, Montana, Lash (I came up with that one), Huck, Jackson, Aspen, Link, Austin, Bond, Dallas, Hume, Finn, Tucker, Drake, and Kelvin among others… And yet…

I felt no connection to those names. He could be any one of them.

The easy obvious choice was Miles. I liked it as it had a southern, bluesy feel and from a marketing perspective it’s pure genius. But I’m not a man given to gimmicks so I returned to the tradition I started with Malcolm’s successor, Hudson, and that was no easy thing.

The woman who brought Murphy into my life was also one of the unfortunate few who felt I was making him suffer in his last months so I regrettably cut ties with her after a twenty something year friendship.

But that doesn’t mean the tradition shouldn’t carry on…

So uncork your champagne, do a little jig, the national crisis is over… I christen him ‘Indiana’ after the fearless, albeit fictitious, rakishly handsome adventurer who also shares the same last name with said woman.

Cheers to everyone for your creative and at times kooky suggestions and to Ms. Jones for Murphy.

Keep the Faith and Puppy Up!

Hudson, Indy, & Luke

Sunday, September 18, 2011

2012 Cancer Can't Keep A Good Dog Down Calendar

Back in 2009 while walking cross country I wanted a way to honor all off the cancer dogs we met on our travels and I came up with the 'Cancer Can't Keep a Good Dog Down' Calendar. 

This year marks our fourth and I didn't know then that Murphy would one day be a part of it....

If you have a dog or even a cat in a dog suit as we had in our first year that's been touched by this dreadful disease, join Murphy and show that while cancer can take lives it'll never keep them down and their memory will always live on within us. 

Click this LINK to go to the calendar page and if you have any questions or would like more information, please direct them to Erich, at

Friday, September 9, 2011

Charm Bracelets

Growing up in a small Texan town my mother used to own a jewelry and antique store called Mrs. Robinson's Neighborhood where my three brothers and I worked at various stages in our youth. I'm the smallest of my siblings so we're pretty big guys and mostly my mom used us to move heavy 100 year old oak tables and such but for some curious cosmic reason I developed an eye for designing jewelry and sold lots of pieces at her store.

I'm older now, my eyesights changed and my fingers not as nimble but aside from writing and speaking engagements both of which were put on hold after Murphy's cancer spread, there aren't a lot of ways to make money on the road and living in a tent. So I've made the decision to revisit my previous skill and make jewelry.

I'm starting out with charm bracelets since they're really quite lovely and don't require as much inventory to travel with. I've designed two styles:  a Puppy Up! charm bracelet and a Custom one with your pet's name.

As it has been decades since the last piece I strung and I have no idea what people are buying these days I've come up with six starting designs though I have more in my head.   All charm bracelets are designed and hand made by me and consist of Sterling silver 5.5mm letters and semi-precious gemstones and other spacers and artistic beads.  Bracelet sizes are available in 7 and 7 1/2 inches but if you need something special you can email me your request (see below).    


In this bracelet I've used amethyst chips with silver antique beads and Rose quartz rounds but as they're each custom made according to the name of your pet, the number, size, and type may vary.  Silver lobster clasps are used in all bracelet styles.     

The Puppy Up! charm only incorporates Amethyst chips but also may vary according to what's available or my particular mood at the moment but the end product will be comparable.
In this design I've incorporated both Aquamarine and clear brilliant crystals as well as light blue glass spaces between the letters.  Solid silver rounded beads are used, too. 

The Puppy Up! charm is similar to the custom bracelet except I used a solid aqua round bead to separate the words. 

Gold and Silver

In this style I've used a mixture of gold filled rounds and rondelle spacers as well as silver twists as an accent in both charm bracelets. 
Lapis Lazuli

Lapis has always been one of my favorite stones with its flecks of gold brilliant colors.  Ovals and rounds of lapis along with silver spacers complement this charm bracelet. 


I've always thought something magical about Malachite with the black striations in the stone.  In this design you'll find a mix of Malachite chips and hand carved rounded beads with silver. 


Black onyx, curiously shaped and styled silver beads, as well as two porcerlain beads perfectly complement the Turquoise stones in this charm bracelet. 

There are lots of changing going on with my website so I'm using Click and Pledge for now and it confuses some folks including me. This LINK takes you to their secure check out page where you can choose the style: Amethyst, Crystal etc and type: Puppy up or Custom in either 7 or 7 1/2 inches. If you select Custom there will be a place for you to type in the name of your pet on the next page.

I've priced the Puppy Up Charm Bracelets at $99.00 and the Custom Pet Name ones at a flat rate of $109 no matter how long their name unless it's 'Joey Joe Joe Junion Shabadoo' - a nickname might be better. I've looked at comparable charms that weren't as nice and I think this is reasonable. Plus the price includes shipping.

Since each bracelet is handmade by me allow two weeks for delivery. We'll be travelling for the next couple of months I'm going to have to have the supplies sent to each city. If you're purchasing it as a gift and need it by a specific date put that in the space for Custom names or email me at

Also if you have a special request send me an email and I'll see if I can accomodate you.

Keep the faith
Puppy up!
Support your local animal shelter and rescue
To learn more about cancer in companion animals go to
Join the Fuzzybutt Fight Club

Hudson, Luke, and our new BFF (Baby Fuzzybutt Four)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Circle of Life

After I picked up our new BFF (Baby Fuzzybutt Four) last Friday outside of Nashville, I took him to the Bradford Pear Farm outside of McKewn TN where that special photo of Murphy was taken on our walk.  

Friday, September 2, 2011

The City of White Squirrels

We’ve traveled through some pretty magical places but there’s always been something a little different about Bowling Green, KY, that I’ve never been able to quite define. Even though it's a smallish town of less than a 100,000 people I suspect it is home to more dog lovers per capita than anywhere else we’ve been.

But then, during our most recent trip to Bowling Green, it became apparent why it's so special.  I was on an early morning walk with Hudson when I began to think about Buddy. The Crestmoor suburb we were staying in was loaded with squirrels and seeing all those insolent rodents running amok and unchecked reminded me of just how much I missed him.

You see, if the Bud Man was there with us he would tree every single one of them but he had passed away a few weeks earlier from end stage lung cancer and congestive heart failure.  But even in his final days squirrels remained his singular obsession.  He never met one he didn’t want to chase making him the anti-Will Rogers of squirrels I suppose.

He was much on my mind that morning when Hudson and I rounded the next corner and I saw something that sent chills down my spine: a white one. The short span of time between thinking about Buddy and then seeing an albino squirrel was spooky and surreal, but we are no strangers to seemingly impossible coincidences. Trail magic has always followed us on our travels and I wasn't surprised to feel Buddy's presence.   

Shortly after our morning constitutional, I put Hudson up at our host home and headed to Lost River Cave to help the BG Humane Society setup for an event later that day. Arriving early, I walked the grounds studying the geology and history of the place and then I spotted another white squirrel.  WTF?

I didn’t have my iPhone with me for my first sighting but I did this time. Though hard to see in the photo nearby it’s high left on the main tree trunk. I had never seen one before so twice in a few hours seemed particularly peculiar. Once Lorri Hare, the head of the Humane Society, got to the Cave I asked her about this strange occurrence and she said for some odd reason albino squirrels were common in that part of Kentucky.

And then it all made sense.

Bowling Green, the City of White Squirrels, is to dogs what Mecca is to Muslims.  It's a Holy place that Hudson, Murphy, and I were drawn to on our walk back in the winter of 2008 while on our own pilgrimage. 

And though the reason was not apparent to me back then, today as I adopted a Great Pyrenees puppy from them, I finally understood why. 

The circle is now complete.  One journey has ended and another has begun. 

Behold, Hudson’s new Brudda….