Every Dog Has Its Day

Now that I have a Glowforge and have become a professional leatherworker :rofl , I thought a dog collar would be a perfect project.

I just needed a dog.

I went into town and found a dog. But, a little girl was attached… so, I tossed some candy and grabbed the dog. Part 1: Accomplished.


A friend gave me a call the day before New Years to see if I wanted to take a trip out to Big Bend National Park area. It’s a pretty decent trip out there and in the middle of nowhere, so usually it takes a bit of planning to get everything together, etc. We decided to leave in 36 hours…

It was going to be cold as heck, especially for Texas. I figured if it was going to be freezing cold, might as well be freezing cold with some great views.

I figured we’d do a little camping, I’d take a few pictures, see some nice sights I’ve seen before and some I haven’t.

It was definitely cold. The desert was frozen over with a thin sheet of ice that would shimmer if we were to get any sunlight.

Eventually, the sun did come out… we did some 4-wheeling up a private mountain we obtained access too. New sights. Some new photos. Check.

It was still bitter cold (remember: Texas). It hit 17 degrees the night after I took this image of the Rio Grande. It looks warmer than it was… I didn’t bother setting a tent up since we were moving locations each day, so I can attest to a true 17 degrees as I was laying in the air mattress in the back of my truck, with frost in my beard.

We did our thing. Had fun too!

And then this happened on our way home… Running down the side of Highway 90 - a place no pup oughta be running… hungry and parched, a subsequent search for an owner with no luck. And the pup was on the way to his new home in Wimberley.

He’s turning out to be a pretty smart dog. He got settled in and we promptly learned how to play fetch.


But, he didn’t have a proper collar. A store bought collar wouldn’t be good enough - not when I have a frickin’ laser sitting in the office.

Off to Tandy Leather we go… sidenote: the Glowforge is really good at putting you in new situations. I had the same fish outta water look I had standing in Tandy as I did in the jewelry aisle of Hobby Lobby.

Eventually, we settled on what we thought we needed… a nice looking piece of strap leather (we think), a buckle, some rings, some rivets and thread (and other misc. stuff). Nothing like spending $70 bucks on a collar you could probably buy for $30.

Taper, stitching holes, other holes, D-ring holes, the Glowforge did it all to this piece of .160" thick leather. Not quite like butter… but, we got the job done after a bit of cutting frustration in trying to figure out how not to turn it into a strip of carbon. This is thick stuff…

Hours… and hours later. Of stitching… and winging it. My model posed for his hero shots:



Nice! SO glad you where where you needed to be for this baby. I have often said I never went looking for a pet, but those animals who had a need found me. Glad he found you :heart::heart::heart:


Love your scenic photos!!! Great story and great name for your pet, Rio!!!


Great story and a nice collar!


Collar and pup are beautiful. Congrats to you both!


i saw that first pic of big bend and thought, “damn, it’s changed a lot in the 30 years since i was there.” but then the rest of them look more like the place i hiked/camped in the mid 80s.

collar looks great, love the horseshoe buckle. if you want more inspiration for dog collars, go no further than www.pacocollars.com. that’s where we bought ours almost 10 years ago.


Oh, I’m so happy you rescued him! He looks like a great dog and I know you’ll be happy together. Great looking collar too!


What a lucky dog to have a human like you! nice work!


Beautiful collar … and beautiful dog. Congratulations on both!


Great story, lucky pup, and great looking collar for him! (The Glowforge is really expanding your horizons in a lot of directions! Rio will too!) :wink:


I love everything about this post! So precious and what a great story!

As a mountain lover in Dallas, I think I finally need to make a trip to Big Bend. You sold me!


Fine job on that collar, and great name for your new friend!
Nothing like a good dog, and from the looks of him, you both got lucky!


I love this entire post…the great photos, the great story, and the happy ending for you and for Rio. And that collar is gorgeous. He’s a lucky puppy!


Beautiful photos, handsome pup, and very fine collar! Congrats on your new furry family member!


The frozen pic? That was just north of Marfa (Hitting Big Bend Ranch State Park from Presidio), so it’s a little more west Texas terrain than Big Bend; it lives life on the edge :slight_smile:

Big Bend region is a special kind of place. You’re either enthralled with it or not a fan of it at all; not a lot of middle ground. It’s mountains that descend into deserts and weird little micro climates mixed in; you can’t compare to say, Colorado, or Ruidoso, or other mountain ranges further up the Rockies or the Appalachians. It’s just way different.

I’ve been a lot of amazing places and my travel advice is to not try and compare one place to another; every place has something really awesome and unique about it and if you try to compare to other places, you’re missing what makes the place you’re at truly special.


well, i hit big bend for 4th of july weekend back in 84, so a very different time of year anyway. very beautiful. and we did some very stupid climbing (back before rock climbing was “a thing” like it is now) and a lot of hiking. i have a lot of good memories of that trip. except for my clutch blowing out on the way back to goodfellow afb.


Excellent job, and it looks like you have a very capable and photogenic model.


I’d buy that for my dogs! nice job

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Quote of the day!!! :clap::clap::clap:


The collar is beautiful.

I originally thought the pup might be Australian Shepherd and/or Heeler mix, but that running photo almost makes me wonder if he has a bit of Corgi in there :wink:

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