Sunday, March 30, 2008

Enjoying Nature

I have been out enjoying nature the last couple of days. I went hiking at Hartwood Acres yesterday and just got back from another hike there today. Hartwood Acres is a really great place to go hiking. There are lots of different trails to check out and all kinds of different wildlife to see (and not to mention all the exotic smells to sniff). We didn’t see any deer today, but we usually come across a herd or two while out hiking through the woods. The deer are kind of funny. They always seem to be trying to figure out what kind of creature I am. They will walk up to me pretty close just checking me out. Maybe they think I am a giant groundhog on a leash or something. I would like to be able to stop and chat with the deer, but there are so many places to explore that I never really have the time. I probably should at least stop and see if they have any product suggestions for Merlin's Bark Products. Maybe the deer could use a nice salt-lick or something. I will try to remember to ask them the next time I am out hiking in the woods.

Well, I am pretty tuckered out from all the hiking I’ve been doing so I am going to go take a nap before dinner. I’ll be barking to you later!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Dual Feeders & Flying Squirrels

When I haven't been busy CEO'ing Merlin's Bark Products, I've been watching all of the goings-on out in my yard. I noticed that there sure is quite a variety of diffent birds and squirrels hanging out around our feeders. While most of the birds don't have a problem sharing a feeder, those dang blue jays sure have an attitude problem. They don’t seem to care that there is plenty of room and food for everyone; they just want all the food to themselves. Greedy little buggers if you asked me. Then again, I would not even think about sharing my bowl with another dog. Though, I might be a little nicer about it than the blue jays are. Then again…

Anyhow, I really wanted to talk to you about dual feeders and flying squirrels. While we get the usual gray squirrels and red squirrels at our dual feeder, we also get my absolute favorite – flying squirrels! You might remember me blogging a couple of weeks ago about installing a Trexed-Out Dual Feeder in my own yard. Our dual feeder is installed right beside a very large old pine tree that just happens to be the home of a family of flying squirrels. They are a lot harder to get a good look at since they only come out at night, but they sure are cute little furry creatures. I am really glad that we have a dual feeder by the tree and not just a regular squirrel feeder. Since the flying squirrels are much smaller than their larger cousins I doubt that they would be able to lift up the feeder lid to get at the goodies. These little guys just scoop out the seeds from the bottom of the dual feeder where the birds do. I like it that they are able to enjoy the feeder too. After all, Merlin’s Bark Products dual feeders are supposed to be a one-stop snack shop for all the little feathered and furry friends.

If you have flying squirrels in your trees you should check out the dual feeders in our Etsy shop. We have dual feeders made out of cedar and dual feeders made out of Trex. If you haven't already stopped by our Etsy shop please do so. And make sure you check back often since I am working hard on adding some new items really soon.

As usual, I'll be barking to you later!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dual Feeder in Rough Cedar

My tailless little rump sure is wagging today! Merlin's Bark Products Etsy shop is now open for business! There are only a couple items listed right now, but I am working my little legs off getting more merchandise into the store. One of the first products you will find in our Etsy shop is my Dual Feeder in Rough Cedar.

Just like all of our dual feeders, squirrels and birds in your yard will be able to eat from the same place. Think of it as a one-stop snack shop for the little critters. It is a bird feeder for the birds and a munch box for the squirrels all in one! There is a cutout on the bottom of the plexiglas window so the birds can get to the goodies. And those curious squirrels will be able to get access to the food by either lifting up the top or by scooping out the seeds from the bottom. When the squirrels are done digging around in the feeder, the lid closes automatically to help keep the food from getting yucky. And I love the "whapping" sound the lid makes when it closes too. As soon as I hear that sound my ears perk-up and I am on alert for any dropping peanuts. Hum, peanuts....

Oh, and the squirrels and birds will be hopping for joy over the extra large wrap-around deck on the front of the feeder. Finally, they will have plenty of room to lounge safely on while snacking the day away.

Make sure you check out Merlin's Bark Products Etsy shop for more information on my Dual Feeder in Rough Cedar and to check out our other products.

I should be heading back out to the workshop. Happy shopping. And I'll be barking to you later!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Dogs with Blogs

I never realized that there were so many dogs with blogs until I read this CNN article. There are thousands of dogs out there blogging every day! How cool is that? I never knew that there were so many Web savvy pups out there. I must admit though that I was a little disappointed that CNN never contacted me about the article. They don't mention one pup with a blog who also happens to be a CEO of their own company. What a great story angle that would have been. Maybe I should mention it to them.

Anyhow, things are going great here at Merlin's Bark Products. I have been very busy getting merchandise ready for our Etsy shop. I've also been conducting focus groups on our products with the squirrels and birds in my yard. Or maybe I should have said, "trying" to conduct focus groups with squirrels and birds. Have you ever tried to get a squirrel to sit still long enough to fill out a form or answer a simple question? They are always scurrying off somewhere. Not to mention the fact that they just gnaw the pencils down to little nubs. And the birds will just fly off with the forms squawking something about how it will make a great addition to their nest! Needless to say, I have been finding out that it much easier if I just watch the little furry and feathered critters while they are using the feeders then trying to get their opinions on the product. They are a flighty bunch to say the least.

Well, I should be getting back to the workshop. I'll be barking to you later!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

March Madness

We are in the mist of March Madness and I ready to see some good ball handing tonight. When Pitt's Levance Fields and Ronald Ramon get on the basketball court I get all excited. They sure know how to handle a ball. Not to brag, but I happen to be a great ball handler myself. You should see me when I am outside flying through the air catching my yellow bouncy ball. I can really pull some fast moves. Heck, I probably could even show a thing or two to Fields and Ramon. I am sure that they would be quite impressed with some of my moves. Everybody else always is.

I need to be barking off now. It is almost time for Pitt's women's team to hit the court and I don't want to miss any of the action. I'll be barking to you later! Go Pitt!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

It's Spring!

Ah, the first day of spring. The birds are chirping. The squirrels are chattering. And my thoughts are wandering off to things other then the running of Merlin's Bark Products. Who can work when there are fun games to be played. Hills to run up. And things out in the yard that need to be barked at.

Spring is also an important time to make sure that the birds and squirrels in your neighborhood have plenty of food available for them to eat. The birds are coming back from their winter vacations and soon there will be lots of baby chicks for them to feed and take care of. The squirrels don't seem to take a winter vacation - but soon there will be a lot more of them scrambling around and jumping on the tree branches. Squirrels sure are fun to watch. They have a fun game that they like to play with me. They like to hide peanuts in the yard for me to find and eat. Hum, peanuts...

Sorry about that, I got a bit distracted by the thought of peanuts lying around my yard. Anyhow, either one of Merlin's Bark Products dual feeders - the Dual Feeder in Red Cedar or the Trexed-Out Dual Feeder - would be welcomed by the birds and squirrels in your yard. I am hoping to have our Etsy shop up and running soon. I will let you know when it is open for business. Hopefully you will shop on by and check out our products.

I'm going to go and check out my yard to see if the squirrels hid any peanuts for me to find. I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Dual Feeder in Red Cedar

I recently gave my nose seal of approval (as you can tell from the picture) for a new addition to our product line. This dual squirrel munch box/bird feeder was constructed out of red cedar and features an extra large deck for the birds and squirrels to lounge on. Just like Merlin's Bark Products other dual feeder, this model features a little cutout on the bottom of the plexiglas so that the birds can get at the seeds. The squirrels can scoop out the seeds from the bottom or they can get access to the goodies by lifting up the top. Also like our Trex feeder, this model was constructed by using pocket hole joints. I am very excited about this addition to our product line and I hope that you will be too.

Before barking off and heading back to work, let me give you a quick update on how our Trex duel feeder is doing on the testing tree. I am happy to report (if I had a tail it would be wagging) that things are looking good. I haven't received one complaint from either a bird or a squirrel about the feeder. Though, the woodpeckers do seem to be a little upset about not being able to peck at the feeder. But hey, if they want something to peck at they can just use the tree that is right behind the feeder!

I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Squirrel Munch Box

Today was a big day for Merlin's Bark Products. One of our Trex squirrel feeders was installed on a testing tree. I must say that I am very pleased with the results. I decided to go with a dual purpose feeder. This particular feeder can be used by squirrel and birds. The bottle of the plexiglas has a little cutout on the bottom so that the birds can get at the seeds too. The squirrels can get access to the seeds (and peanuts) by either lifting up the top or by scooping out the seeds on the bottom. What a great idea!

Another interesting thing about the squirrel/bird feeder is that pocket hole joints were used to connect the pieces of Trex together. I felt that if it was good enough for the Romans to use - that it was good enough for Merlin's Bark Products.

I am also working on another duel squirrel/bird feeder made out of red cedar that will have an extra large deck on the front. It will be perfect for the squirrels and birds to lounge on. I'll keep you up dated on how that project is going as well as how the Trex feeder is doing on the testing tree. Until then, I'll be barking to you later!

Friday, March 14, 2008


It is the end of another long work week and doggone it - I am tired! I never realized that running a company would be so hard. Hanging out at the dog park I would always hear how bosses just get to sit on their big behinds all day long and bark orders to everyone while raking in the dough. Sure I've gotten to bark orders, but I haven't the chance to lounge around (much) and I still haven't received any dough! And I really had my heart set on snacking on the peanut butter cookie variety too. On the upside, it is Friday, which means that I get a new knee bone after dinner tonight. Yummy!

Well, I am going to take a break from CEO'ing for a bit and take a quick nap before dinner. I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Feeding Squirrels

Everyday after dinner I always make sure that the squirrels and birds in my yard receive a full assortment of goodies in their munch boxes and feeders. While the birds usually only get black oil sunflowers seeds to eat - the squirrels receive a delicious mixture of sunflower seeds and whole roasted peanuts still in their shells. I am always extra excited when the squirrels receive their food. Lucky for me, the peanuts have a habit of spilling out onto the ground and I have mastered the art of shelling peanuts! It sure does take a lot of hard work and skill getting peanuts out of their shells, but it is always worth the extra effort when they end up in my tummy.

It also takes a lot of hard work and skill to handcraft one of the squirrel munch boxes that we will be selling soon. On one of my earlier posts I mentioned that I was working on a couple different squirrel feeder prototypes made out of Trex . I am happy to report that the prototypes are looking good and that we should have some up in the testing trees soon. Just wait until the squirrels try to chew on a Trex made squirrel feeder!

I better be heading back to the workshop. I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

St. Puppy's Day!

If you are thinking about adding a furry addition to your family, Animal Friends will be holding their annual Happy St. Puppy's Day! Adoption Event and Beaglefest this Friday, March 14th from 11:00 am - 10:00 pm at the Caryl Gates Gluck Resource Center located at 562 Camp Horne Road, Pittsburgh, Penn.

Animal Friends will be full of puppies, beagles, and, other homeless animals looking for new homes. Think about granting one lucky puppy (or two) a second chance on St. Puppy's Day. There will be refreshments, expert advice on how to choose a new furry friend that is right for your family, and other fun events. Animal Friends’ will be extending their adoption hours till 10pm to help accommodate families with some extra time to meet with their perfect pup.

May the "Luck of the Irish" be with all the pups who are looking for loving homes!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Weather or not

It has been rather cold and snowy here in the Burgh this weekend. And I am ready for a change of weather. Sure I like the snow (it is great to roll in), but I would love to have the ocean nipping at my ankles again (much like how a corgi nips at heels). Last year, I got to go on vacation to the Outer Banks with my family and the Baileys (Mara, Jody, Mat & Lilli).

Word around the office is that we all will be heading back to Corolla in about six weeks. I think the Bailey's corgi (Cerci) will be going on vacation with us this year. Hopefully, she understands that there is room for only one CEO on the trip - and that CEO would be me.

Speaking of CEO'ing, even though it is the weekend, I've been busy working on the product line and materials we will be using with Merlin's Bark Products. Just yesterday, I purchased some Trex and start working on proto-types for squirrel munch boxes. We should have some products out in the testing trees soon. Though, I really don't know how I will get the squirrels to fill out a customer survey form...

In the meantime, I'll be barking to you later!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Mark your Calendars

The Western Pennsylvania Kennel Association will be holding its annual dog show in Pittsburgh on Saturday, March 29th, and Sunday, March 30th, at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Show Information
* The admission fee is $9.00 for adults and $4.00 for children 4 to 12-years.
* Doors open at 7:00 a.m. and conformation judging begins at 9:00 a.m.
* Best in Show will be judged at 5:00 p.m.
* Obedience and Agility trials are judged at the same time as conformation each day.
* The show on Saturday is a complete dog show resulting in a Best in Show award.
* The show on Sunday is also a complete dog show, but there will be different judges for each breed.
* The judging times for each breed will be available online at WPKA after Monday, March 24th.

May the best pup win!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Forgot to introduce myself...

In all my excitement to tell everybody about my upcoming new company (Merlin's Bark Products) - I completely forgot to introduce myself to the world. My official name is Prince Merlinus, but everybody calls me either Merlin or Mer. I do hear "Leave It" a lot when I am strolling around the neighborhood - so I think that might be another one of my nicknames. I spent the early years of my life living in the Highland Park section of Pittsburgh where I acquired the title of Mayor of Highland Park. A couple years ago, I moved to O'Hara Township (which is about five miles outside of Pittsburgh) and I currently rule the neighborhood there. Life here is pretty good, though I do always have to be on the lookout for my archenemies (Max and Jacks) the neighbor's cats. Nothing gets my bunny-butt more in a twitter then seeing those two slinking around my yard.

I am an avid recycler. I'm always picking up plastic bottles that I find and making sure that they get placed in a recycling container. I will be using many different types of environmentally friendly business practices in the running of Merlin's Bark Products. All packaging will be "second life" and reused from a delivery made somewhere else (but don't worry, everything will be packaged properly and securely). All of our products will be handmade locally with either sustainable, certified, recycled, or reengineered wood ( Trex ). I think you will find that the squirrel feeders made out of the reengineered wood will last a million times longer then the ones made out of real wood. Those dang little squirrels sure like to chew things!

I guess that is all for now. I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Merlin's Bark Products

Hi everybody! My name is Merlin and I am the head-honcho of a new and upcoming Web based company - Merlin's Bark Products (named after yours truly). Merlin's Bark Products will specialize in different types of woodcrafts for humans and animals. Personally, I am a lot more excited (if I had a tail it would be wagging) about the products geared toward us members of the animal kingdom. We are going to have different types of feeders & houses for birds; condos and munch boxes for squirrels; elevated dog bowl holders; and pet vehicle toy boxes. Wait till you see the toy boxes! I have a convertible model myself and it is great. There will also be nifty stuff like outdoor planters and window boxes.

I am hoping to have our product line out by mid-May so I better be getting back to work. Make sure you check back in for updates and more information. I'll be barking to you later!