Sunday, June 29, 2008

Flying Squirrels!

I am so excited! I have been waiting for the perfect time to unveil our Flying Squirrel Penthouse in the Sky in our Etsy store and tomorrow is going to be the big release date. Here's a picture of it looks like when it is all closed up. As you can tell from the picture it is HUGE! Standing a whomping 42" tall it will be a true penthouse in the sky for a whole colony of lucky flying squirrels. Being a true penthouse, it has has four separate floors and two entry holes. It doesn't come with a hot tub or a Jacuzzi, but I guess the squirrels could have those installed at a later time.

You probably remember me blogging about the colony of flying squirrels that live in our big old pine tree. They are my all time favorite animals out in my yard. I came up with the idea of the of our Flying Squirrel Penthouse in the Sky when I started to wonder where our flying squirrels would live if something happened to our old pine tree. I did a little research and found a lot of really interesting facts about flying squirrels. Did you know that flying squirrels only nest in large old growth trees? They are also the most social of all the squirrels. They do not hibernate during the cold winter months, but instead will nest together in large colonies to keep warm. Northern flying squirrels will form a colony of about ten individuals. Southern flying squirrels will form nesting colonies of 15-20 individuals. A record 50 southern flying squirrel were found in one colony alone! That sure is a lot of squirrels! Since the flying squirrels will nest in such large colonies during the winter, I thought it would be awesome if they had a big beautiful house where they all could safely live together. Make sure you check it out in our Etsy shop to get a good look at the inside of the house.

I'll be barking to you later.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Take a Pup to Work Day!

Friday is Take Your Dog to Work Day and I have been trying to figure out if that means I get to bring a pup to work with me too. What an opportunity that would be for some pup! Getting to go to work with me, Merlin the head honcho of Merlin's Bark Products, would be any pup's dream. They could get an up close look at what goes on in the day-to-day operations of running a company. I bet that there are a million pups out there that would love to have the opportunity to come to work with me. Gee, I wish I had thought of it sooner. I might have been able to put together some program where inspiring pups have could applied to come to work with me for the day and get a nose-to-nose encounter with the business world.

Oh well, maybe next year. Though, it does also give me an idea about getting an intern next summer. It sure would be nice to have a young pup to do all the business fetching and retrieving for me.

I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pups Needing Homes!

I've decided to add a new feature to my blog. One that I think is very important too. I've decided to start featuring pups (and kitties) that are sweet and loving, but need someone to love them and to give them good homes.

So sit back and let me introduce you to some pups that are in need of good homes in the Pittsburgh area.

"Please meet Ms. Precious! We love the wiggle in her walk and the spring in her step! This little lady is everything a bully breed should be -- affectionate, loyal, engaging and bit of a clown! Precious is about five and came to us when her owner could no longer care for her. She is medium sized dog, but is a little bit overweight for her short, low to the ground frame. Precious passed her temperament tests with flying colors and can go home with many families. Precious wants to meet you today! She may even be wearing her favorite fluffy scarf that keeps her warm in this cold weather." - Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania

"Happy-go-lucky Sam is such a character. He is about 7 years old and came to us after his owner fell ill. A guy like Sam isn't too fond of shelter life, as he's an outside dog who loves exploring and playing with his toys. He definitely has that Hound nose with the lovable Lab qualities all mixed in. Sam is a terrific example of a healthy, settled adult dog looking for his forever home. Quite a sweetie too!

If you can't adopt Sam but would still like to help him, please post the following flyer on PGH area bulletin boards where you work and shop. Sam appreciates the help!" - Animal Rescue League of Western Pennsylvania

I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hot Weather Tips!

Friday marked the first official day of summer and I thought I should share some important hot weather safety tips for pups. Did you know that pups and kitties can suffer from the same problems that humans do, such as overheating, dehydration and even sunburn? By following these simple precautions from the ASPCA, pups can enjoy the summer and also stay happy and healthy.

*A visit to the veterinarian for a spring or early summer check-up is a must. Pet owners are urged to have a heartworm test performed if their dog isn't on year-round preventive medication. If parasites bug your animal companions, ask your doctor to recommend a safe, effective flea and tick control program.

*Never leave your pet alone in a vehicle -- the results could be fatal. Even with the windows open, a parked automobile can quickly become a furnace. Parking in the shade offers little protection, as the sun shifts during the day.

*Always carry a gallon thermos filled with cold, fresh water when traveling with your pet.

*The best time for playtime is in the cool of the early morning or evening, but never after a meal or when the weather is humid.

*Street Smarts: When temperatures are very high, don't let your dog stand on hot asphalt. His or her body could heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during extremely hot times to a minimum.

*A day at the beach is a no-no, unless pet owners can guarantee a shaded spot and plenty of fresh water for their pets. Salty dogs should be rinsed off after a dip in the ocean.

*Provide fresh water and plenty of shade for animals kept outdoors; a properly constructed doghouse serves best. Bring dogs or cats inside during the heat of the day to rest in a cool part of the house.

*Be especially sensitive to older and overweight animals in hot weather. Brachycephalic or snub-nosed dogs, such as bulldogs, pugs, Boston terriers, Lhasa apsos and shih tzus, as well as those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.

*When walking a dog, steer clear of areas that may been sprayed with insecticides or other chemicals.

*Pet owners should be alert for coolant or other automotive fluid leaking from vehicles. Animals are attracted to the sweet taste, and ingesting just a small amount can be fatal. Call a veterinarian immediately if there are signs of poisoning.

*Good grooming can stave off summer skin problems, especially for dogs with heavy coats. Shaving the hair to a 1-inch length is a possibility with some breeds, but should never be shaved down to the skin because it robs dogs of protection from the sun. Cats should be brushed often.

*Do not apply any sunscreen or insect repellent product to pets if it is not labeled specifically for use on animals. Ingestion of sunscreen products can result in drooling, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. The misuse of insect repellent that contains DEET can lead to neurological problems.

*Having a backyard barbecue? Always keep matches, lighter fluid, citronella candles and insect coils out of pets' reach.

*Pet owners should make sure there are no open, unscreened windows or doors in their homes because animals can fall or jump out of them.

*Stay alert for signs of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting and drooling and mild weakness, along with an elevated body temperature.

I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

What's New!

Some pups on the steet have been asking me about what Merlin's Bark Products been up to lately. And if we have any new and exciting products coming up soon. Well, I am happy to report that we have been busy adding to our elevated dog feeder line of products and we are also working on toy boxes for kitty cats too. Oh, and then there are the pet toy boxes that I have been working on too. Hopefully, I will have a toy box completed and ready to list on Etsy soon. I feel like I should warn you though, the toy boxes are going to be really cute!

Speaking of really cute products, I have come across a lot of cute stuff on Etsy lately. Just look at this adorable hand knitted shaggy brown puppy dog from Barking Dog Design (LOVE the shop name too). It is so darn cute that I just want to snuggle with it! Barking Dog Designs also the sweetest little stuffed baby lamb that I have ever seen. You should check out Barking Dog Design's shop if you are in the mood for something cute and snuggly! And trust me, I know cute and snuggly when I see it. Just look at me!

I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


I am so excited! I just joined a new Etsy team - Team AWBAR. Never heard of AWBAR? Well, it stands for Abandoned Wild Babies Animal Rescue and is a place in Lockport, Illinois that rehabilitates baby ducks, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, rabbits, small birds, and other small critters. That's some of their newly aquired babies bunnies in the picture. They sure are cute! Love the big ears!

Anyhow, AWBAR survives solely on private donations so they need all the help they can get. Currently they are raising money not only to take care of all their little critters, but they are also trying to establish themselves as a not-for-profit organization. AWBAR has their own Etsy shop which is filled with wonderful items that have been donated by team members. I am planning on donating something very soon to their shop so hopefully you will see one of our items listed in there soon. In the meantime, make sure you check out their shop and see if there is anything that you just have to have. And the best part is that 100% of the sales proceeds goes directly to helping the little orphaned babies! So not only do you get a great gift, but your purchase will help in the raising of those cute babies bunnies pictured.

Well, I am off to do a little shopping in AWBAR's Etsy shop. I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Falcon Update!

I am sure that many of you recall me blogging about the peregrine falcons in the Pittsburgh area last month. Well, I have some more good news to share about my falcon friends. The National Aviary and Pennsylvania Game Commission recently announced that they have identified two additional peregrine falcon nests in the Pittsburgh area! Not only that, but the game commission has confirmed that a pair of falcons have established a "natural nest" on a cliff in Union County. This is only the third wild nest that peregrines have successfully established in Pennsylvania in over 50 years. While it is sad that it nest in Northumberland is only the third wild nest in 50-years, it is great to see that they are making a comeback. I can only hope that the falcons keep on flying high and growing in numbers! Check out this Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article for more information on the report.

I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

I Made It!

In case you haven't heard, Merlin's Bark Products will be exhibitors at I Made It! this Sunday at the Schenley Plaza in Oakland. And I am very happy to report that this time I have made sure that we have a supply of bat houses in our booth!

Since everyone probably would love to stop by the market (and drop by our booth and pick up a bat house), I figured that I should help spread the word about it. Here's some information I got off of I Made It!'s Web site.


The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and Dream Store Media have joined forces again to bring a new level of originality to the Pittsburgh Creative Scene. On JUNE 1st and JUNE 15th Schenley Plaza will be transformed into the city's largest and most diverse market. The event combines the McCarren Park pool parties in NYC and West Hollywood Flea Markets in California allowing Pittsburgh trend-setters to spend a day in the sun at Schenley Plaza. Live DJ's Headlined by DJ Nugget will provide fun music for vendors and strolling patrons.

Patrons will have the chance to update their art collections and closets with original pieces from students and artists from Pittsburgh's extraordinary homegrown talent. Sundae Market will feature vendors from I made it! Market, which is a regularly occurring, nomadic Marketplace in Pittsburgh that provides the opportunity for artists and crafters to establish their businesses and enjoy low barriers for bringing their wares to market in order to create successful businesses. I Made It! and it's vendors are partners in this project and they make a positive impact in the community we share.

I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Bat Houses!

I am so excited! Yesterday, I listed Merlin's Bark Products first bat house in our Etsy shop. As you can tell, I am pretty excited that we finally are able to offer bat houses to our customers. We had so many people inquire about our line of bat houses during Rachel's Sustainable Feast that I knew it I had to make bat houses a top priority for us.

Did you know that a single brown bat can catch and eat hundreds of bugs in just one hour? Not only do bats like to munch on mosquitoes, but they also like to eat bugs that can damage crops. I guess that you could say that bats are Mother Nature's little pest control experts! Did you also know that bat houses need to be built specifically for the areas they are suppose to be installed in? Bat house built for the northeast shouldn't be used in the south and vice-versa. There is quite a science behind bat house building. Not only that, but there also is a science behind installing bat houses too. Bat houses should face in a south/southeastern direction where they can absorb most of the morning sunlight. They should also be installed at least 15-20 feet above ground (the higher, the better) in a place where they will get at least 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. And because bat houses need so much sunlight, they should be installed in an open area. Who knew that bats were so picky!

Speaking of being picky, I need to go check on some other products that we are working on and make sure that they measure up to my "nose seal" of approval. I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, June 8, 2008


It has been really hot in the Burgh the last couple of days. It has been over 90! In case you didn't realize it, wearing a fur coat when it is 90 out can make a pup pretty miserable. That is why today I decide that it was time to take a break from CEO'ing and go creeking! Never heard of "creeking?" Well, it is the greatest thing in the world and I highly recommend it to other pups. All you need to go creeking is a nice stream or creek (whichever happens to be handy) and you just wander around in it for a bit. It really is a nice way for a pup to cool-off and refresh himself. I've noticed that some pups like to splash around and play in the creek, but I am more reserved type of pup and think just standing around in the water is good enough. One can't be to careful around water you know. As wise pups always say "Safety first!"

I'll be barking to you later!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Doggie Bowls!

One of my favorite things in the world are dog bowls. I love all kinds of dog bowls. It doesn't matter to me if it is a ceramic bowl or stainless steel bowl, just as long as it holds food (and water). Actually, it isn't so much the bowl themselves that I love so much, but what usually gets put in them. There is nothing like the sound of kibble hitting the bottom of my food bowl to get my bunny-butt running to the kitchen. Technically, it doesn't matter to me if it is a bowl or plate - just as long as it contains food. And the type of food doesn't really matter either. Just as long as it isn't lettuce. I hate lettuce. Lettuce only tastes good until you lick all of the salad dressing off of it.

Sorry, I got a little sidetracked there. Anyhow, I've been busy adding some of Merlin's Bark Products elevated dog bowl feeders to our Etsy store. Elevated feeders are a great thing for a pup (or kitty) to have. Not only do they look nicer than just a plain old bowl setting on the floor, but elevated feeders are very beneficial for pups too. They can help ease problems a pup might have with digestion and also help the older pups that have problems with arthritis. How great is that!

All this talk about bowls and feeders has made me hungry. I'm off to find a snack. I'll be barking to you later!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Beastly Abodes!

If you haven't checked in on Merlin's Bark Products Etsy shop lately you will be surprised (hopefully pleasantly) by all of the wonderful products that I have added to our store. I added a variety of different products (bird houses and feeders, squirrel condos, and elevated dog bowls) for all my furry and feathered friends. Not only have I been busy adding merchandise to our Etsy shop, but I've also been hard at work coming up with new items for us to work on. Just yesterday I finished constructing our first bat house! I am very excited about it too. A lot of people ask about our bat house line during the Rachel's Sustainable Feast, and I made sure that bat houses were priority number one on our To Do list. Right now the bat house is at our paint shop waiting to be finished up and I'll be adding it to our Etsy store as soon as it is ready to be revealed. Don't worry, additional bat houses are in the works too - so there will be enough to go around for everyone!

I also have other products in the works too. During the next couple of weeks we will also be working on purple martin houses, elevated dog bowls for the smallest of pups, and watering stations for the largest of pups. I can't believe I am going to say this, but we will also be working on elevated cat bowls! I never thought I would see the day when I would be designing products for cats. As far as I've been able to figure it out, cat are only good for one thing - chasing! But I guess that even they need watering and feeding stations too...

Speaking of cats (and chasing them) I better be off to see if Max and Jacks are slinking around my yard. I'll be barking to you later!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

My New Collar!

Check out my new collar! Since a pup has got to look sharp when he's out there wheeling-and-dealing in the business world, I figured that it was time that I upgrade my imagine a bit. Sure I probably could have gone with a Rolex watch, but I'm more of a collar type of pup. Luckily for me one day I happen upon Sew Crazy Dog Lady and her Etsy shop. She created a custom collar for me that is really going to make those other pups during business meetings stop and take notice. Not only did I get to pick the fabric (it is the zig-zag pattern incase you are interest), but I also got to picked out what kind of hardware I wanted to go with it! With my new collar around my neck I am sure to be the sharpest dressed pup at my next business meeting. It is like a Rolex for the neck!

Well, I am off to a business meeting to show off my new collar to everyone. I'll be barking to you later!