What IS that thing?!

When Nellie was a puppy, she had her own “room”. Well, it was actually the entry way going from the garage into the house, complete with a french door so she could see out into the living room and kitchen! She had a nice little bed, her food and water dishes, her toy bin, and it was tiled so it was always nice and cool in the summer – what’s not to love about that!

Nellie has a spunky little attitude, which sometimes would get her in trouble… One night, for one reason or another, she was told she had to sleep in her room  instead of by my side in the bed. She willingly went to her room, curled up on her bed, I shut the door and went back to bed. About a minute later, it’s nice and peaceful, still, and I’m about ready to fall asleep, when all of a sudden: “boing, boing, BOING”! “NELLIE!!!” A couple minutes of silence went by, then “boing, boing”.

I was about ready to unscrew that door-stop! Thankfully she grew out of it. She has got to have one of the most interesting personalities in a dog I’ve ever seen.

So when we saw this video of a puppy having fun with the door-stop, it brought back those memories of when Nellie was a puppy getting into mischief! The Adventures of Nellie – never a dull moment…

Don’t Leave Dogs In Cars


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Summer is here, which means trips to the lake and family barbeques.  While summer means fun in the sun for us, the warm temperatures can be dangerous to our furry family members if they’re left in our vehicles.

It’s a common misconception that a dog will be okay in a car for “just a few minutes.” However, thousands of dogs suffer from over-heating each year. Most often, this happens during quick stops like picking up dry cleaning or stopping in the local deli. On an 83 degree day, it only takes ten minutes for a car to reach 102 degrees, even with the windows cracked, according to the ASPCA. No matter how much your pets love riding in the car, they should be left at home for their safety.

Of course, our pets are our family, so we want them to come along for our fun summer activities.

If you must travel with your pet in the car, there are precautions you should take.

Bring a large thermos of cold water or a two liter bottle that has been frozen over night with to make sure your pup stays cool and hydrated.

If you need to stop somewhere, use the drive-up if possible, have someone stay in the car with your pet while you’re inside, or stop at a store that welcomes pets. If none of these options are possible, leave your pets at home.

If you see a dog in a car alone, take action.  Don’t be afraid to tell the dog’s owner that it is unsafe to leave dogs in hot cars. If you don’t know who the owner is, attempt to locate them by informing the manager of the store the car is parked in. Call animal control or the local authorities. Don’t leave until you know the dog is safe.

{by Brittany, fetch! intern}


Brookings Summer Arts Festival

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photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop

If you’ve never been to the Brookings Summer Arts Festival, I highly suggest you make a trip there next year. If you are a regular attendee, I suspect we share the same feeling of fieriness when that weekend in July comes around!

Last weekend, a friend and I traveled up I-29 to Brookings, SD for an afternoon of soaking up the sun and the festivities of local music, some of the region’s best artists and craftsmen, food and even antiques. This festival has been going strong for over four decades and currently had over 200 vendors.

One of our missions for the day was to find products and art that portrayed our furry friends. Pets are a huge part of our lives so why not decorate our homes and gardens with art that represents them!

Of course, no surprise here, our first stop was at a booth who was selling dog bandanas: Cheryl’s Favorite Things. Although pets were not allowed at the festival, I still had Nellie on my mind! So after rummaging through the samples, I finally found one that I thought would look good on Nellie. (She LOVES bandanas! – I do not know why).


Hands down, my favorite booth at the whole festival (besides the homemade Root Beer) was Bill’s Bot Shop. I spotted this little guy named Sweet Boy.


“Bill creates robot sculptures from a variety of materials acquired from thrift and antique shops, yard sales, recycle shops, flea markets and hardware stores. The results are unique and one-of-a-kind robot sculptures.” {says their website}.

After talking a moment with Bill, they directed me to their website where I then found these two robots (and the one at the beginning of the story). Are these not the most amazing pieces of art you’ve ever seen?!


photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop


photo courtesy of Bill’s Bot Shop

I also noticed while perusing their website that Bill studied Fine Arts at the University of South Daktoa – I knew I like that guy! I am a USD alum myself. Spending 4 years in the art department at USD was some of the best times of my life. Go ‘Yotes!

Next, we found some metal art by Wildlife Imagery. They are based out of Mankato and have several wildlife, hunting, fishing, dogs and other designs. We thought these were cool because they are water jet cut!



Deb Leilani Photography had a booth with some of her products. We just love seeing photos of Calvin!

Whittles and Bits was another favorite of ours. These would be perfect for your home or garden!



I thought this was super cool, too, for your patio or garden.


The last place we stopped at before heading home was at the antiques section. And then I found this… not exactly sure what it is or how it’s supposed to be a toy. But it has some pretty interested graphics and parts!



Until next year!

Welcome Brittany!

In June 2014, we welcomed Brittany to the fetch! team as our editor’s assistant intern! She has already been busy interviewing and writing articles/blogs for fetch! but will also be helping with special events throughout the year.

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Here’s a little bit about Brittany:

Brittany was raised in the small town of Baltic, SD and moved to Sioux Falls in 2008. She is currently an SDSU student pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in sociology.


Referred to as a “crazy cat lady” by her friends, Brittany has always been an animal lover. Her dog, Daphne, a Shih Tzu mix, and her cats, Chesh, a long-haired orange tabby, and Syrah, a grey tabby, keep her happily busy.


On her free time, Brittany enjoys dancing, going to concerts, spending time with friends and being outdoors.

{Photos of Brittany taken by CK Mixed Media} Thank you CK Mixed Media!

Pet Fire Safety

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July 15th is Pet Fire Safety Day. Did you know that nearly 1,000 fires are accidentally started by pets and approximately 500,000 pets are affected by house fires annually? We’ve compiled a list of seven tips on how to keep your pet safe from a house fire.

1. Include your pet in your family’s fire safety plan. Arrange in advanced a safe place for them to stay in the event that you have to leave your home. Make your pets their own disaster supply kit. You can find a list of what to include here.

2. Remove or cover the knobs on your stove before you leave your home. Exploring stove tops is the number one way that fires are started by pets.

3. Don’t leave open flames unattended. This includes candles, fireplaces or any other type of open flame. Cats are notorious for accidentally knocking over lit candles with their tails and starting fires. Make sure candles are in proper holders and on stable surfaces. To be extra safe, consider investing in flameless candles.

4. Attach a pet alert window cling to your front window. Write down the number of pets in your home, and make sure it is updated. These window clings alert fire rescuers that there are animals in your house and helps them to locate your pets quickly.

5. Secure any wires or cords and keep them out of your pets reach. This is especially important for cats, since they are likely to play with anything that looks like string.

6. Keep pets near the entrance of your home when you’re away. This allows fire rescuers to locate them as quickly as possible. Also make sure to keep collars on your pets and leashes in plain sight in case your pets have to be taken out of the house by rescuers.

7. Make sure you have plenty of fire detectors. There should be at least one on every floor of your house.  If you’re away a lot, consider getting monitored fire detectors. If any smoke is detected in your home, these monitors will alert a call center.

{by Brittany, fetch! intern}


Editor’s note: Sparkles the Fire Safety Dog has several resources for you and your family to learn about fire safety.

Meet Miss Augie

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Miss Augie, or Augie Doggie, spends her days greeting customers at Sticks and Steel – a local business at 8th & Railroad in downtown Sioux Falls. Augie is so influential, she even has her own section on Sticks and Steel’s website called Miss Augie’s Picks!

Meet Miss Augie – 

How old is Augie and what breed is she?  Black Labrador.  She turned 2 in March.

Where did you get Augie from? A gentleman in Emmetsburg IA, Bob Soenen.  I think he produces one litter each year.  Augie was wandering the farmyard with her siblings, a few goats, chickens, etc.  A rather idyllic setting.  Maybe that’s why she’s comfortable wandering around the gallery.

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How did she become Sticks and Steel’s shop dog?  It was a long, cold winter and she wasn’t getting enough exercise and the days at home alone were too long for the pup.  Three pairs of shoes, the corners of two rugs and the edge of a chair made it very clear we needed to do something differently.  My husband suggested I bring her to the store but I was really hesitant.  All I could picture in my mind is her tail wagging wildly and my inventory crashing to the floor.  As it turns out, her tail hasn’t caused a lick of damage.  She’s eaten quite a few packing peanutsand gets dusty and glittery when she’s in the studio.  Mostly, she just wants to be out in the gallery meeting customers.  She really loves people.

What is her favorite toy or thing to do?  We have a woodburning oven at home and hence have lots of wood in the backyard.  She carries it around and chews on logs all the time.  She also buries bones (and rawhides).  We’d never seen a dog do that.

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Is she a big hit with customers? That would be an understatement.  I had no idea there were so many dog lovers.  I just hope she doesn’t scare someone……I know that some folks are afraid of dogs and I’d hate to have them be uncomfortable.

What is a typical day like for Augie at Sticks and Steel?  She usually spend most of the day at the store.  At some point, she usually tries to take a nap but she hates to miss greeting a customer so her naps usually don’t last long.  Once September rolls around, we won’t see much of her until hunting season is over.  My husband is part owner in a pheasant hunting operation so she hunts with he and our sons as well as some of the other owners/guides.  I guess you could say hanging out at Sticks and Steel is her part-time off-season job.

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Is she allowed on the furniture? We have pretty strict rules at our house for the dogs.  No furniture, no sleeping in bed with us, we don’t feed her with our hands,etc.  However, if some“people” food hits the floor it’s all hers.

Does she have any pet siblings?  She does.  One of them is here in Sioux Falls.  The owner is a nephew of one of our neighbors so every once in a while, they get to see each other.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest) how spoiled would you say Augie is?  Well that’s all relative.  I guess compared to most pets, she’s not very spoiled.  But compared to the pets I grew up, she’s living in the lap of luxury.


Sticks and Steel

401 E. 8th Street, Suite 118

Sioux Falls, SD 57103

Find them on facebook!

SD Flight Dogs

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There are many organizations that run Dock Jumping events. The most popular ones are Dock Dogs and Super Retriever Series (SRS) Super Dock, both established in the year 2000. The Incredible Dog Challenge was the first to have Dock Jumping competition in 1997.

The Dock

The dock is 8 foot wide by 40 foot long and is 2 foot above the water. For the safety of the dogs, make sure the body of water they are jumping in is free from debris and at least 4 foot deep.

Distance Measuring Procedure

Dock Dogs and SRS both measure from the lateral midpoint of the end of the dock to where the base of the dog’s tail breaks the water’s surface. This is done with digital video freeze frame technology.

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Big Air (Super Fly) – This is the long jump for dogs. The dog is placed anywhere on the 40’ dock, the dog runs and jumps in after a toy. The record jump is 25’.

Extreme Vertical (Super Fly) – This is the high jump for dogs. The dog starts at the 20’ mark on the dock and runs and jumps to releases a bumper that is suspended above the water with magnets. The bumper toy is extended out 8’ from the dock and starts at 4’6” and goes up 2” increments. The record is 8’ high.

Speed Retrieve (Super Speed) – This event is a timed event. At the far end of the pool a toy is suspended 2” above the water. The dog is placed at the 20’ mark, when the light turns green the dog is released and the time stops when the dog releases the toy from the bracket. Dock Dogs 101 Iron Dog (Super Triathlon) – This is a triathlon for dogs. The dog will compete in the three above events; the dog with the highest total score is the Iron Dog.

photo 2Dock Dogs is for all Breeds

If your dog loves to retrieve and loves the water, Dock Dogs may be the perfect sport for your dog.

Tips on Training

When training your dog for Dock Dogs the first training step is to get your dog to jump off the edge of the dock into the water. This is done by using your dog’s favorite toy and encouraging them to jump in. Once your dog is jumping into the water without hesitation add speed by placing the dog further back on the dock. When your dog is using the full 40’ length of the dock you are ready to improve your jumping distance by adding height. Height can be added by using the proper throwing technique to get your dog to extend for the toy.

South Dakota Flight Dogs

SD Flight Dogs has a four week basic / intermediate class for both Big Air and Extreme Vertical competitions

Current Location: Lake Brandt, SD

Cost: $40 per dog – Class size 8 dogs, sign up to reserve your spot at: SDFlightdogs@yahoo.com

Local Dock Dog Events for South Dakota

Sioux Falls, SD SRS – Scheels August 9th

If you would like to learn more about Dock Dogs, contact your local Dock Training provider at SDFlightDogs@yahoo.com or 605-201-2861. Find them on facebook here!

{Info and photos provided by SD Flight Dogs}