Today a friend of mine borrowed my Dyson. My DC15 "The Ball" Animal Dyson. They adopted their second four-legged family member a few months ago, and, like most of us with fur kids, the shedding is insane. I got my Dyson in April of 2007 and haven't looked back- that baby is AMAZING.
In fact, I'll quote the first bit of what she posted on my FB tonight:
HOLY SHIZNITZ! The Dyson is FANTASTIC! As soon as I walked in the door I started vacuuming, moving anything and anyone out of may way to get into every crack and crevice. Two hours into it ...
Just to let you know, her house regularly looks like a show-house. Pretty sure if she hired a maid they'd ask her for tips.
(side note- if you buy a Dyson, be sure you get "the ball." The maneuverability is the Porsche to a regular 4-wheeled vacuum's Flinstone car.)
Anyway, this got me thinking about the pet products I've grown to depend on over the last 9 years.
|Yeah, she was all adorable and tiny...|
The Drinkwell Pet Fountain is a must-have for us. I ordered one as soon as we moved into our house in Idaho and it's how I stayed sane in that dry climate. Not only does it hold two gallons of water (the "Big Dog" one), but it has a charcoal filter. It's not the easiest to clean, but everything except the jug can go in the dishwasher.
I checked for a U.K. spec one as soon as we got here- and ordered it immediately.
|Yeah, she had a Popple... it was my old one and she loved it. To death.|
Crates, and crate training! That's baby Sloan and grown Sloan in the same ginormous kennel. We crate trained both the dogs from the start, and, while Max prefers the couch, Sloan still goes in her kennel for a nap or a toy-chew regularly.
Crate training from the start also makes airplane-crate training much, much easier when you decide to move to England!
When I can't find our Furminator, it's a mini-panic. I used to scoff at a $50 (our model) dog brush, but then the vet clinic I worked at got a free one to use with clients. I took it home one weekend, and we bought our own on Sunday. Max has three coats- the dog really is a super-mutt. One of those coats is likely Husky- he blows it twice a year. With his longer black hair, short tan hair, and fuzzy/static cling white hair, it's a lose-lose in the shedding battle (although the Dyson helps immensely!). The Furminator makes all the difference. The fur in the above picture is from four strokes- a good ten minutes into our "brushems-brushems"- and I've been brushing him every other day lately.
(don't judge, you have goofy things you say to your pets)
Plus, when you use a brush that doesn't hurt, you get crazy post-brushing antics!
With Max's joint issues (hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, bad knees, osteoarthritis, he's a genetic winner of a mutt!) a ramp was a must-have from late puppyhood. I don't know if you've tried it, but lifting a 75lb dog into a car isn't easy. This picture is from his first hip surgery, a TPLO (hip replacement) back in August 2006 (he was 1.5, if you're wondering). We've since bought him a Honda Element, which is lower than this Explorer, and we only have to boost his back end in after he gets his front legs up, but the ramp still comes out on bad days and after surgeries (he's had six).
The Premier Keepsafe Collar is something I take seriously. I've heard several stories about dogs dying from wrestling while wearing regular collars (one dog catches the other's collar in his mouth, choking the dog wearing the collar), and I know one family that had a very close call that required both humans and a kitchen knife to save their mastiff from choking when wrestling with their newfie mix. We never left the dogs in collars when we weren't home because of this, but I was always a bit
paranoid nervous about open doors/windows/tornadoes ripping the wall off our house when we weren't home releasing our spoiled babies to the scary world uncollared... oh, sorry, did I drift down Crazy Lane there?
Anyway, when Premier (I love their products!) came out with the Keepsafe, a dog breakaway collar, I snapped two up immediately. I've shown Max's in the "breakaway" mode- it pulls apart with pressure and snaps back together easily. You can use the collar with a leash by clipping both D-rings, preventing the breakaway from breaking away.
|Amazon box*Kleenex box*Sorel snow boot*Reusable grocery bag|
Without addressing Sloan's toy destruction habits and the toys that resist her valiantly, I'll leave you with a Mia montage. She, like many cats, cannot resist an open container. She put herself in each of these situations- and it took me less than 5 minutes to gather these four pictures... I've got plenty. Give the cat some recycling or a random item in the house, she's happy!
In case you're wondering, no, I'm not getting any sort of perk for this post.
(If any of you own a dog toy company, Sloan's more than willing to be your tester. PLEASE.)