Colorful Tales

A Picture Perfect Pair

February 26, 2018

Ashley and Oskar as a puppy.
Ashley Timms and her 2-year-old Chocolate Lab Oskar spend their mornings playing in the Rhode Island surf, and their afternoons exploring new hiking trails. Born in Solihull, England, Oskar chose Ashley at just 3 weeks old with a nip on the nose. The rest is history. Oskar is a typical lab that loves food, people, cuddles, and adventures. The dynamic duo loves documenting these joyful times on camera.

Ashley works at getting the perfect shot!

Ashley, an extraordinarily talented dog photographer, captures gorgeous shots of Oskar, but also photographs other dogs and the details that their owners adore about them. "I think humans can be hypercritical of themselves in images,” says Ashley. "With dogs, the owner can truly connect with the image and the emotion they feel rather than focusing on any insecurities. It's an amazing feeling to bring that connection to another human. And, of course, the images last forever so they can relive that emotion.”

Photographing adoptable dogs from the Potter League is a labor of love for Ashley.

When Ashley isn’t photographing her clients' dogs and spending time with Oskar, who she describes as the “happiest dog on earth,” she is snapping shots of adoptable pups at the Potter League to increase their chances of finding their forever homes. The Potter League is the animal shelter of Newport County, Rhode Island, and provides shelter and care for lost or unwanted companions. "They do so much for all of the animals that come into their care; it's truly phenomenal. Anyone who adopts from the Potter League gets a 10% discount off a dog portrait session.”

Every photograph tells a story that helps these pets get adopted!

As new residents of Rhode Island, Ashley had to get Oskar some new sWag, and was hoping to find something made locally. “I found Up Country's North Star collar at a shop in Newport, RI and had to get it. Oskar also rocks the Union Jack Collar to show off his British roots. The collars really suit our lifestyle of always wanting to explore. I can wash the collars whenever I need (which is often...!). I can't believe how well they hold up to all the salt water and sand!”

Oskar revels in the ocean breeze in Newport. 

These best friends live in picture-perfect (get it?) pup paradise by the sea. Follow this dynamic duo @ashleyasker or visit her website

Beautiful Brittle B.

December 11, 2017

Stephanie and Brittle B. pose for the catalog photo shoot.

Meet Brittle B., an Up for Stardom contest winner. This sweet Pit Bull/American Bulldog mix came into her owner Stephanie’s life when she worked at a local shelter several years ago. “At eight months old Brittle was kept tied outside and was signed over to the shelter nameless after she growled at a child who was pestering her," said Stephanie. "I knew she was a special little dog, so just like that, I decided to add her to my growing pack!” The first few months weren’t easy as Stephanie struggled to work through Brittle’s stubbornness; however, they quickly became best friends and remain even closer seven years later.

Brittle gets festive with one of her dozens of Up Country collars.

Today, Brittle enjoys lounging by Stephanie’s side, whether she is sewing, working on her computer, or just lounging. She loves to keep herself occupied by chewing on bones, destroying her toys, and playing tug of war with her four other canine siblings. When Brittle isn't lounging around the house, she is partying it up with Stephanie at work.  “I work at a local dog daycare, and she comes with me every day to spend time with her puppy friends. She also LOVES to go shopping at all the local pet shops and is quite popular among all the workers.” Whatever Stephanie is doing, you can find Brittle right by her side. “She is my sidekick, my co-pilot, and my best friend.”

Brittle and her "pack".

Brittle can be spotted around town in her Up Country gear, specifically in her favorite Bee collar. “We first discovered Up Country when I started working at Camp Bow Wow, and one of our pup customers always wore an Up Country collar. When I found a store that carried Up Country collars, I decided I would just get her one special collar. I chose Up Country's Scoop collar, but when the holidays came along, I knew she needed a Christmas design. Now, five years later, we have over 34 in our growing collection! I haven't found a collar company that beats Up Country, each of my dogs has certain collars they look best in.”

Brittle not only enjoys being the perfect spokes-dog for Up Country, but she is also an excellent ambassador for bully breeds, as she exemplifies what great traits they can have. She's sweet, social, loyal, and well behaved, leaving the people she meets with a positive impression. “Everyone who meets Brittle falls in love, what can I say, she's a pretty wonderful little dog!”

Brittle gets dressed up for Trick or Treating, too!

For more on this lovable, rescue advocating pup, look out for our 2018 catalog in January and find Brittle B’s Up For Stardom spotlight there!

Healthy Pets are Job #1 at Four Muddy Paws

November 9, 2017

Matt and Jeff with Foster and Potter.

Years ago Jeff Jensen and Matt Braselton were heading out of town for a camping trip when they saw cars slowing in the middle of the road. After pulling over, they spotted a tiny black and white puppy trying to cross the street. “We brought him to safety and attempted to find his owners but with no luck, he was a stray,” Jeff said. “After getting to know and fall in love with the little guy, we determined we’d keep him, and from there he became a big part of our family. As with any family member, we wanted to give him the very best and soon realized it was incredibly hard to find and purchase healthy pet food and products in our hometown of St. Louis.” As a result, Jeff and Matt conceptualized and opened Four Muddy Paws The Healthy Pet Market in Lafayette Square in 2004, which would quickly make its mark on local pet owners and lovers.  

Four Muddy Paws is chock full of the best products for your pet.

The goal of Four Muddy Paws Healthy Pet Market is to strengthen our pet's emotional well-being by offering products that can enhance the lives of our dogs and cats.  “We take a holistic approach to our pet's health and that includes both a strong nutritional foundation as well as the proper toys and pet gear to enhance their emotional well-being too.” As a result, the Market also offers fun toys, treats, accessories, and supplies for both cats and dogs. The modern space provides professional grooming and self-service dog washes. After five years of success, Jeff and Matt decided to open their second location in Edwardsville, Illinois, offering the same great mix of services and supplies.


The custom St. Louis ribbon found only at Four Muddy Paws.

“We’ve had Up Country in our store since we opened in 2004. Our customers appreciate the quality and the value, with patterns that fit everyone’s lifestyles. Because the accessories have been so popular, about a year ago we developed a custom St. Louis collar. We worked with Up Country to incorporate the colors of the St Louis City flag, red and blue, into our design. The yellow fleur di lis recognizes our French heritage, and the arch and river are icons of our city as well. Finally, the font we chose for the St. Louis script is a nod to the mid-century architecture design of the arch by Erin Saarinen. All of these elements were pulled together to celebrate St. Louis, and the collar has proven to be wildly popular.”

In addition to great products and services, Four Muddy Paws hosts educational events. For example, they recently hosted a raw bar buffet where customers learned about the advantages of raw food. The market also offers fitness classes like Fitness with Fido or yoga with your pooch. In addition, Jeff and Matt enjoy giving back to rescues and hold regular adoption events.


Delicious and healthy treats are the way to go!

“We love making a difference in the health of customer’s pets; there is nothing more satisfying! We enjoy helping our customers with health concerns, making their lives less stressful by having baths here and just supplying the very best products. It has been a lot of fun."If you are in the area be sure to visit one of the Four Muddy Paws Healthy Pet Market locations, find everything you are looking for under one roof, and leave satisfied knowing your pet is getting the very best! #UpCountryRetailer

Visit Jackson the Dalmatian on instagram. Smiles Guaranteed.

October 26, 2017

Jackson started posing as a very young puppy!

Jackson, a two-year-old Houston based Dalmatian, brings a smile to over 49 thousand fans on his popular Instagram account, @jackson_the_dalmatian. While this dignified gentleman is the star of his own Instagram account, every now and then his equally adorable brothers, Heath and Bennett make an appearance. These Up Country dogs will be sure to leave you grinning!

These three don't have to share a bed, they just like to!

It all started with Heath. “Heath, a four-year-old Weimaraner, came from Pennsylvania.  I lived in Ohio and had to drive over 3 hours to get him - he was 8-weeks old,” said mom Julie. “All the pups were lined up in a row to choose from, and he crawled right into my lap. It was love at first sight for both of us. Heath is named for a former Steelers football player, Heath Miller. A few years later, Jackson came from a breeder in Keota, Oklahoma. Jackson’s name is an homage to pop singer Michael Jackson and his song “Black or White”. And then came Bennett, who is Jackson’s nephew, and was a Valentine’s Day surprise gift from my husband. Bennett is named after the singer Tony Bennett (my husband and I danced to his version of “The Way You Look Tonight” at our wedding).” When they aren't referred to as Jackson and Bennett, they are affectionately nicknamed “The Spots”.

A gorgeous shot of Julie and Jackson.

While the trio enjoys posing for engaging content, they also love being outside, chasing balls, snacking on fruits and veggies, and always wearing bowties to complete the southern gentleman look. Heath and Jackson also enjoy taking the occasional dip in their backyard pool to beat the Houston heat. All three are lovable and charming, but they do have very distinct individual personalities. “Jackson and Bennett are very social – they love making new human and fur friends! Heath takes a little while to warm up to people but once he does he is very friendly.”

Julie began her now famous Instagram account as an easy way to share Jackson’s puppyhood photos with family and friends. “ On a whim, I entered him in a PetSmart photo contest, and he won. They featured him on their page, and the followers just started pouring in. It was around that time that I realized this sweet little puppy really made people happy – besides our family, of course!”

These Houston pups have been helping spread the word about Up Country's Hurricane Harvey initiative.

Throughout their social media journey, the three musketeers have experienced the latest and greatest products, leading them to Up Country collars. Today, the boys rock their favorite matching Texas collars, from which Up Country donates 25% of sales to the Houston SPCA. The initiative hits close to home for these Texans, as they had to evacuate when Harvey hit. Fortunately, everyone was safe.

For more on The Spots and handsome Heath visit @jackson_the_dalmatian, they’ll be sure to leave you grinning from ear to ear.

Up For Stardom Contest

September 22, 2017

It's time for our Up For Stardom Contest! Enter for the chance to have YOUR dog featured in our 2018 Catalog, a photo session and an Up Country gift basket! Enter here: until 9/29/17 11:59 PM ET. The voting period will take place from 9/30-10/9. Two winners will be selected by the Up Country inc. judges and one winner will be automatically selected based on the most votes. Open to US and Canada entries.

Only one photo entry per person and don't forget to share your entry to get more votes when the voting period begins. Three winners will be announced on or before October 13th. Good luck! #UpForStardom