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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gadgets I Like

I believe in giving credit when it's due and this week I've had the pleasure of dealing with a company that has incredibly good customer service. We all deal with so many companies that either don't respond at all, or if they do they don't give a very satisfactory response to a problem with one of their products.

Last week when I put Noah's life jacket on him, I attached his leash to the ring on the back of the jacket. I didn't give it much thought. I was just taking him across the parking lot to the boat. The ring, which was plastic, not metal snapped and Noah was loose. In this case it wasn't a dangerous situation. There was no traffic and Noah comes happily to us when we call him. I said some bad words, hooked the leash to his collar and went on.

In other situations this could have been a disaster. Suppose we had been crossing a busy street or if I had secured Noah and left him. That evening I emailed the company Kyjen and complained. The next morning I had an email from them apologizing. They said they were sending out a new life jacket for Noah. They explained their reasons for using a plastic ring, which are not good ones in my mind, but they did the right thing with no hesitation. Kyjen is a good company to deal with.We were chatting about toys in our last post and here is what I would want if I was a cat. Do any of you have a 'kitty condo' for you cat? Do they use it and like it? I think if I were a cat I'd spend all my time playing on this thing.

While I' m discussing toys, I learned from you that this thing is a 'Cuz'. I don't know exactly why it's called that, but that's it's name. In our house we've always called it a football because it's a ball with feet.

Another thing that popped into my mind is a good place to shop for pet toys. In our area we have a discount store called 'Big Lots'. They get the things that didn't sell out in other stores, so the merchandise is different every time we go there. They carry good brand dog toys such as AKC and Milkbone at greatly reduced prices. AKC toys can run $10- 16, but at Big Lots we get them for $2-3. We were able to fill our big dog bone toy box at Christmas for around $80.

If there is no Big Lots in your area, check out some of the dollar stores to see if they carry pet toys.

Now I want to share some gadgets that I really like a lot.

These scissors make me more comfortable trimming around eyes and ears. If one of the dogs moves a little I don't worry about stabbing them.

Those of you with heavy shedding dogs probably recognize the 'Furminator'. This thing is great for pulling out the dead undercoat. The blades leave the top coat and grab the fuzzy stuff that gets all over the carpets and furniture. It works great on Morgan and Tsar. The PWDs don't have undercoats, so this isn't the tool for them. If only it was wider to cover more of Tsar at one time , I'd be a happy groomer.

This is a wonderful container. This was in a basket I won at a dog show and was filled with dog biscuits, but it's become our traveling feeder.

It has this handy little handle that snaps off.

Then you're left with a container for dog food and two good sized, heavy plastic bowls for food and water. We take this thing with us whenever we travel and even on the boat. These are available in pet stores and in catalogs. It's handy and would also make a good gift for a friend with a pet.

Finally, this silly looking thing that I call a bumpy bowl has saved us time, money and aggravation. Sky is one of those dogs that inhales his food. His food is gone by the time I set all the bowls down. Then within 30 minutes he vomits up his entire dinner. We went thru this for two weeks and I was ready to take him to the vet for tests when I decided to give this bowl a try.

The food fits between the protrusions, but Sky's head doesn't. He is forced to work the food out with his tongue. It slows him down and he chews the food instead of just swallowing big amounts. It worked the very first day we tried it and Sky has not vomited up his dinner since we started using it. Better for him and much more pleasant for us.

He didn't like the bowl at first and would bat at it with his foot and complain about it, but now it's his bowl and he looks forward to getting it.

What special gadgets do you use on or for your pets that you really appreciate? Would you recommend them to others? Are there some you've tried that didn't work out as well as you had hoped? I always love to hear about something that will make my life easier and my pets lives happier.


  1. Marge is not much of a ball-player, but she enjoys a romp with her tennis ball every once in a while.

    As for grooming, a rubber, round curry comb has done wonders for us. It pulls off her dead hair like you wouldn't believe.

  2. Tagpi is the sort that used to explode hair everywhere at his old house so when he moved in with us my hoomans made sure to get a FURminator and a shedding rake for him. The Furminator does wonders as does the shedding rake and now Tagpi is allowed on our furniture when he wasn't before.

    The Furminator doesn't work at all on me, but my mom regularly attacks me with the Mars Coat King, which may be why there's nothing left for the furminator to grab. I barely shed anyway so there's not much reason to use the furminator on me. My mom is in love with the Mars Coat King and gushes about it all the time. My mom doesn't want to clip my coat, because other fieldie owners say that clipping the coat eventually ruins the texture. The Mars Coat King does wonders and always leaves my coat looking neat and sleek.

    Another gadget that has proved very useful is my collapsible water bowl, which we always take whenever we go out on adventures. My mom really loves it when we go for hikes, because she can just scrunch it up and stuff it in her pocket.

  3. I got a large furminator at half-price from Amazon, it was a great deal! It works really well for all the dogs I have tried it on.

    As far as gadgets go, I really like the chuckit for dogs that love playing ball. It doesn't wear out your arm and the ball goes pretty far with it. Barrett, my last service dog in training, loved playing ball and he could keep playing for longer than I wanted to throw the ball, so the chuckit was a lifesaver. Ellie isn't much of a ball dog yet, but I'm hoping I can train her into it.

    We don't have a cat house for our cats. We sometimes think about making one though. If we had kittens than I'm sure it would be a great toy for them, but our cats are both 7 years old.

  4. Great post... love all your gadgets!

  5. Oh we have one of those bumpy bowls too - just a different version. Ours has three round pegs sticking up in the middle. Dudley has finally learned how to get to his food faster and has started "giving it back" to us. Might be time to try a different bowl.

    Right now he's out in the yard trying to make me feel bad because he doesn't like to use the new dog door. He knows how and could come in at any time, but prefers to stay outside and woof at me. UGH! I guess the dog door is a gadget I wouldn't live without. g

  6. i am enjoying reading all your posts (keep forgetting you have this new blog). hubby cuts snuffs using an ordinary scissor, but does it often so she doesn't get matted or too long. we have very few gadgets actually, she is just so easy to look after. she doesn't wear any coats in winter (hubby's mom was a vet and scorned them, said all dogs have natural warmth, don't need coats), she has a very good doggy harness for the car and an ordinary leash and collar for our daily walks...which are more like a stroll as she decides where she wants to go and the length of time. when she has had enough, she sits down and won't move an inch more. then we turn for home...tee hee....

  7. That incident with the life jacket would have been a nightmare for me, as my dogs rarely come when called. I must work on that.

  8. Those bowl combo with handle things are AWESOME! I got one for christmas, and ended up buying a second. They come in REALLY handy for keeping in the car, and taking camping. I keep emergency food (Also sometimes used as treats) in them.

  9. I love your blog.... I just came across it in my web browsing yesterday. :)

    We had a huge 6' tall cat condo/climber for our Rudy. We purchased it when he earned his grand championship. Even though Rudy was an only cat he loved his climber, knew it was his and would closely supervise if I touch it - say to vacuum or rearrange it's site infront of a prime bird watching window. Rudy passed last year at 14 years young and we still miss him.


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