Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Rachel's Sustainable Feast

On my last post I was sharing with everyone the exciting news about Merlin's Bark Products being invited to be exhibitors at the 2nd Annual Rachel's Sustainable Feast (which why I haven't been able to add any of our new creations to Merlin's Bark Products Etsy shop). Since everyone probably would love to go the festival (and drop by our booth), I figured that I should help spread the word on Rachel's Sustainable Feast. Here's some information I got off of The Rachel Carson Homstead Web site. I hope you find the information useful!

Rachel's Sustainable Feast
May 25 Rain or Shine; Noon to 5:00 p.m. – Bring your appetite for great local food and your love of the region to the 2nd annual Rachel's Sustainable Feast at the Rachel Carson Homestead in Springdale, PA. The best of Pittsburgh's chefs committed to buying locally, more local farmers' markets, and as many of the region's great environment, conservation and fair-trade organizations and vendors as we can squeeze into the block party. The event is held in celebration of Rachel Carson's birthday (May 27) and helps connect people to all the great things going on in Pittsburgh's backyard.

This year we're challenging people to travel to the event in as sustainable a method as possible - walk, bike, paddle, bus, carpool, use alternative fuel. A guest celebrity will be giving out special prizes for the most innovative modes of travel. More details to come.

Organizing partners include big Burrito Restaurant Group, Parkhurst Dining Services, Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture, Slow Food Pittsburgh and Whole Foods Market.


I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

New Products

I’ve had some pups inquiring lately on when I will be adding new products to Merlin’s Bark Products Etsy shop. They had participated in my online vote for butterfly house colors weeks ago and have been waiting to see the end results in our Etsy store. Well, I would like to reassure everyone that all of the employees at Merlin’s Bark Products have been as busy as Santa’s elves at Christmas time for the past three weeks. We have created a number of butterfly houses, birdhouses, bird feeders, and even some elevated dog bowls. Unfortunately, though, I decided that it wasn’t possible for us to add any of our new products to our Etsy store until June. I know it is very frustrating, but it was one of those tough CEO decisions that I had to make. I am very excited though about the fantastic reason why we wont be able to list any of our new items.

A couple weeks ago, Merlin’s Bark Products was invited to be an exhibitor at the 2nd Annual Rachel’s Sustainable Feast. I have never been so excited about being invited to something my whole life! Well, not counting being invited to cookouts, picnics, and vacations at the beach. Anyhow, everything that my little elves have been creating for the past couple of weeks will finally be revealed to the public at Rachel’s Sustainable Feast. I hope to see everyone there on May 25th!

I’ll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day

Since today is Earth Day, I thought that I would share with you some helpful tips on what you can do to help make Mother Earth a better place.

* Replace (3) frequently used light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs – reduce your carbon footprint by 450 pounds a year
* Car pool, use public transportation or drive a fuel efficient car – reduce your carbon footprint by 1 pound for every mile you do not drive
* Keep your tires properly inflated and get better gas mileage – reduce your carbon footprint another 20 pounds for each gallon of gas saved
* Change your car's air filter regularly
* Run your dishwasher only when it’s full
* Make sure your printer paper is 100% post consumer recycled
* Move your heater thermostat down two degrees in winter and up two degrees in the
summer – reduce your carbon footprint by 2,000 pounds
* Keep your water heater insulated and the thermostat no higher than 120°F
* Clean or replace dirty air conditioner filters as recommended
* Take shorter showers because showers account for 2/3 of all water heating costs
* Use a low-flow showerhead because less water means less energy to heat the water – reduce your carbon footprint 350 pounds a year
* Use cold water to wash your clothes – reduce your carbon footprint by 500 pounds a year
* Buy locally and reduce the amount of energy required to drive your products to your store
* Buy products with less packaging and recycle paper, plastic and glass – reduce your garbage by 10% and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by 1,200 pounds a year
* Plant a tree because trees suck up carbon dioxide and make clean air for us to breath
* Buy energy efficient appliances
* Weatherize and insulate your home, and consider double pane windows
* Turn off what you’re not using and even unplug electronics you’re not using – reduce your carbon footprint by thousands of pounds a year
* Buy organic food because the chemicals used in modern agriculture pollute the water supply, and require energy to produce

Now get outside and plant a tree. I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

8-Years Old!

Tomorrow is my 8th birthday! I can’t believe it. It seems just like yesterday that I was an impressionable young pup running around the yard without a care in the world. Now I am the big CEO of Merlin’s Bark Products and I am faced with making major business decisions every day. I sure have come a long way since my younger puppy days of chewing on table legs, ripping the fabric off of a couch and loveseat, peeing on newspapers, putting everything that I found in my mouth, being carried everywhere – ah, those were the days! I will post some of my baby pictures this weekend so you can see just what an adorably cute pup I was. Not that I am not still adorably cute mind you…

Anyhow, I think my parents are planning a huge birthday celebration for me tomorrow. I overheard them talking about having to purchase a tent for an event. They tried to make it seem like it was for the 2nd Annual Rachel’s Sustainable Feast – which Merlin’s Bark Products has been invited to be an exhibitor at – but I think they were just saying that ‘cause I walked into the room. I hope there will be cake and ice cream. I just love cake and ice cream!

I hope to see you all at my party! I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yoga Doggies!

Since I have become a CEO I have found myself feeling stressed-out from all the CEOing and decision-making I am faced with everyday. It is hard being a CEO! So I have been trying to think of different ways to de-stress. I thought about chasing the neighbor’s cats (Max and Jacks) around the yard a couple of times. But while that is a lot of fun, it just gets me over excited and puts me in a tizzy for a couple of hours. I needed something that would be relaxing and calming. I thought eating cookies and cupcakes might do the trick, but then I was reminded that I get very serious when I am around food and can get quite obsessive about eating every last bit. So that didn’t sound like it would be very relaxing after all. I thought about chasing and barking at the vacuum, but while that is great fun (just like chasing Max and Jacks) it just puts me in a tizzy also. So just what is there for a pup to do to de-stress and relax a little bit? A quick Google search finally gave me the answer I had been searching for - Doga! What a fantastic idea! Yoga for dogs!

Think about it, yoga and dogs is the perfect combination. What’s the most common yoga stretch position for humans? The downward-facing dog! And I didn’t realize it until I read the articles, but one of my favorite things is actually a form of doga. The savasana relaxation pose is all about pups lying on their backs while someone rubs their belly. Talk about barking up the right tree! While I haven’t signed up for any formal classes yet, I have been trying to use more doga positions and movements in my daily life. Speaking of which, I could use a little savasana relaxation pose right now. I’ll be barking to you later!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The Winner Is...

Did you get a chance to vote in the poll I had up last week on what colors Merlin's Bark Products should paint our butterfly houses? I was quite excited watching the votes come rolling in and seeing the results as they talled up. Once all the votes were in and the poll closed, there was a clear prefered color out of the group. Since I know that you are probably really excited to find out what the final results, I wont keep you in suspense any longer.

The final results of Merlin's Bark Products butterfly house paint colors:

1st Place: Yellow
2nd Place: Green and Natural tied for second
3rd Place: Blue

I am happy to say that the winning colors will be used on our butterfly houses. In fact, I just finished painting two of the houses today! I can't wait to share the pictures with you! Seeing the final product just made my little bunny butt shake with joy. I am sure that you will like them too.

I'll be barking to you later!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Ask Merlin!

Since I have become the head-honcho of Merlin’s Bark Products, it seems like everybody always wants some kind of business advice from me. I figured maybe I should blog about some of the questions I frequently get ask so people can benefit from all my worldly business knowledge. I know that one of the biggest concerns in the business world today is employee benefits. I am proud to say that the employee benefits at Merlin’s Bark Products are top notch! I have a three dog beds, a Bark-and-Lounger, and a queen size bed that I sleep in every night. I have four water bowls that are strategically placed throughout the house and I also have one outside. I also get a big juicy and greasy knee bone every Wednesday and Friday night. A pup can't complain with employee benefits like that!

Though it really is a lot of hard work being a CEO and I do put a lot of time and effort into it. Long hours. Working during the weekend. Hum, maybe I should renegotiate my contract. Maybe look into getting a fourth bed or another water bowl. Or maybe adding in that anti-bath clause I was blogging about earlier. I think I smell a hint of "contract renegotiation" in the air.

I'll be barking to you later!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Do you Etsy?

I was first introduced to Etsy about two months ago while I was developing a business plan (like any good CEO does) for Merlin’s Bark Products. What I discovered was a fascinating place. A place where you can “buy and sell all things handmade.” It sounded just like the place for me to open up our shop. And since I have opened up our Etsy shop, I have learned so much about running a business from other Etsians selling their wares. And I also have stumbled upon some of the most amazing things for sale. Things that seem like they would be sinfully delicious!

Things like:
Peanut Butter Bones (Dog Cookies and Treats)
The Doggie Treat of the Month Club
Mozzarella Munchies/Dog Treats
Cheese Please Biscuits
Peanut Butter Banana Log
Molly Browns Peanut Butter Cups
Beggin for More Beefy Bites Dog Treats
Peanut Butter Carob Chip Cookies
Peanut Butter Booscottis
Gourmet Dog Treats
Peanut Butter Bombs Dog Bone Biscuit Treats

Don't get me wrong, there are things other than puppy treats on sell at Etsy – it is just I got lost in a land of total happiness one day while clicking through their pet treat section. Yummy. I wonder if they let puppies get Paypal accounts? Hum, I need check on this.

I’ll be barking to you later!

Monday, April 7, 2008


A horrible thing happened to me yesterday. I was forced to get a bath. I had worked so hard to get my fur that dingy gray color too. It was sad watching all the “ding” getting washed down the drain in a matter of minutes. Being subjected to a bath has to be one of the most undignified things in the world for a pup to suffer through. At least for me it is. I can’t imagine that there is any pup out there that actually enjoys getting a bath. All the water. All the soap. All the rinsing. I shudder even just thinking about it. The only good thing about a bath is after it is all over with and a pup gets to tear around the house and roll on any carpet or rug he can find. Now that is fun! The actual water and shampoo part on the other hand is not so much fun. A bath is just a sad and miserable occurrence in a pup’s life. I can’t believe that even though I am a big shot CEO that I can still be subjected to getting baths. I could have sworn that I requested that a no-bath clause to be put in my contract. I wont even mention the oatmeal and green tea extract shampoo that was used on me. The horror of it all…

When I wasn’t being forced to take a bath over the weekend, I was overseeing the construction of some butterfly houses for Merlin's Bark Products Etsy store. And in case you missed it above, I am taking a poll on what colors I should paint the butterfly houses. If you haven’t already selected an answer please do so. I love getting feedback on our product line. I have also been working on Merlin’s Bark Products line of elevated dog bowls. Being a short-legged corgi myself, I don’t have any problems reaching my food or water bowl, but for the longer-legged pups that must be a real pain in the neck for them. Hopefully our raised dog bowls will bring some much-needed relief to the necks and back of my fellow pups.

I am going to see if I can find something stinky to roll in. Until then, I’ll be barking to you later!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Butterfly House Help

As you can see from the poll above - I need you help in deciding what color I should make the butterfly houses that we have been working on. So click on which ever color you think would look best out in a garden or the color that the butterflies would like the most.

I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Being a CEO

I guess word is getting out that I’m the head honcho of Merlin’s Bark Products. Lately, I’ve had some pups from around the neighborhood asking me about what qualifications I have to be a CEO and how they can become CEO’s too.

As far as qualifications goes, I am proud to say that I am a 2001 graduate of Puppy Pre-School and that I graduated with high honors. As soon as I figured out that a pup could earn treats by just sitting, staying, or coming when called, I was hooked. Whenever our pre-school teacher would call out to another puppy to come to her and sit, I would run by that pup and plop myself right down in front of the teacher to see if I could get a treat too. The teacher would just laugh and say something about how gosh-darn cute I was and give me whatever tasty treat she had in her pocket. I guess you could say that was when I learned about getting ahead of other pups and the marketability of being cute.

I am also proud to say that I have previous working experience too. I have been the Morale Officer of my household since I came to live with my parents nearly eight years ago. And I haven’t stopped being a Morale Officer since becoming a CEO either. Sure it is a lot of work, but I have been able to find ways to handle all of the responsibilities that come with both jobs.

As far as my recommendations to other pups that dream about becoming the CEO of their own company someday – have your parents start up a company and put you in charge of it! It worked for me. Sure I came up with the concept of Merlin’s Bark Products by myself, but I needed my parents help to get things going. There is only so much one pup can do.

Now that I’ve told the world about the secrets to my success, I hope other pups will be inspired to take the big leap into the business world and start running their own companies. It sure would be nice to have more pups out here in the business world with me.

Until then, I’ll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Hugs for Animals

Did you know that April is Prevention of Animal Cruelty Month? Not just for dogs or cats, but for all animals. Big or small. Short or tall. Wild or tame. Feathered or furry or scaly. April is the month to help make sure that all animals are safe and surrounded by love. So give a friendly pat, a hug, or extra treats to an animal you know every day this month. While you shouldn’t really give a pat or hug to a wild animal, you can make sure they have food and shelter by putting up a feeder or home for them. Every little thing you can do will help make an animal’s life better.

To help prevent cruelty to animals you can follow the ASPCA’s top 10 ways to prevent animal cruelty
1. Be aware. Get to know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood.
2. Learn to recognize animal cruelty.
3. Know who to call to report animal cruelty
4. Provide as much as information as possible when reporting animal cruelty.
5. Call or write your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority.
6. Know your state's animal cruelty laws.
7. Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws on federal, state and local levels by joining the ASPCA Advocacy Brigade.
8. Set a good example for others.
9. Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect.
10. Support your local shelter or animal rescue organization.

Even I am taking a pledge to be nicer to Max and Jacks (my neighbor’s cats and my archenemies) this month. Well, at least I will try to be nicer. And don't forget to hug an animal you know today.

I’ll be barking to you later!