Pawndered Thought: Feb 10, 2015

The first vet we took Simon to promised that getting him fixed at six months old would help to calm him down. When that didn’t quite work, everyone we talked to said that when he hits a year old he’ll be calmer. Our mother said he gets until he’s two. Several training books have hinted that medium to large breed dogs (such as Simon is) don’t truly calm down and mature until around age three.

Well the third birthday is closing in on us this month, and the entire family can only hope.

We hope that Simon stays his crazy, upbeat, energetic self for as long as he lives.

Lupine Pet Collars

Lupine Pet Collars…what can I say? I am in love with this brand of collars. Honestly, I these collars are one of the best things I’ve ever bought for Simon and Rosee. Not only are the collars sturdy, they come with a “Even if Chewed Guarantee” and their products are guaranteed for life. Before I get to the review of said collars though, let me tell the story of why such a collar was needed in the first place.


For the longest time the collars we bought for Simon and Rosee were nothing special. They were just collars, plain and simple. Recently though, Rosee and Simon have developed a bit of a bad habit. Instead of wearing their collars around their necks, you know like normal dogs, they take them off one another and play tug-of-war with their collars until it’s in shreds. Then they like to take those shreds of collar and chew on them like they would a bone. I know it sounds crazy, that Simon and Rosee know how to unbuckle one another’s collar, but I’ve witnessed this phenomenon on more than one occasion, and to be honest, it’s actually pretty incredible. Anyways, Simon and Rosee have become quite accomplished at this task, which despite its awe-inspiring effect, is not good. This became quite clear after a particularly poignant incident when Simon decided to eat part of the collar. Luckily, the collar that he ate eventually made its way back up, and he was fine. Still, it was decided that when they were left alone outside (when the collar stealing happened) their collars would be taken off. Personally, I wasn’t a fan of this solution because if something happened and either one of them got out of the backyard, which is highly unlikely but you never know, they wouldn’t have any sort of identification on them. Of course, both of them are microchipped, but tags are easier in identifying animals, and what if they were caught by someone who didn’t have a microchip reader but was just trying to do a good deed. This did actually happen one evening when I found a dog wander into my front yard and was able to identify his name (quite serendipitous that it turned out to be Simon) and owner information by his tags. Ultimately, it was decided that the dogs would only go outside in the backyard if someone was home to keep watch and ensure that their collars stayed on their necks.

In the meantime, they both still needed collars for when they did venture outside, whether it was for walks or other adventures. Yet they had ruined quite a few collars, and I was reluctant to go out and buy them another one of the same. I think the final total of destroyed collars was about four a piece. It may not seem like much, but when each collar was at least ten dollars and their tags needed to be replaced as well, it soon became expensive. Fortunately, one day while browsing the various local pet stores in town for a sturdier collar I came across Lupine dog collars. Not only did the Lupine brand offer various designs, but they were fairly inexpensive and the best part was that they come with an “Even if Chewed Guarantee”. As you can image this guarantee was what really sold me about these collars. After spending way too much money in replacement collars, buying Lupine collars was really a no brainer because not only are these collars guaranteed, but they’re guaranteed for life. Did you catch that? Let me say it again: the collars are guaranteed for life! Actually, all the Lupine products are guaranteed, but I’m focusing on the collars here. (Lupine also makes harnesses, leashes, and stuff for cats.) Lupine makes it super easy to exchange collars too, which is a major plus. In order to receive a replacement item you can mail it back, send a picture of the item and email a form, or take it to the retailer where it was bought and get a replacement. Now, I know you’re thinking that a guarantee like this one is superfluous, but it really does come in handy. With all of the toys, bones, blankets, and other items Simon and Rosee have been through over the years it’s nice to find a company that stands behind its products. Moreover, it’s a big relief when after about 8 ruined collars I didn’t have to spend yet another ten dollars to buy a new one. Best part ever!

Rosee did manage, despite my best dog-sitting skills, to steal Simon’s collar off of him and rip it into pieces.

IMG_0856This was all that we could find of Simon’s collar, and once we mailed it to Lupine it took less than a week to get a replacement.

I really can’t recommend these Lupine pet collars enough. It is a purchase you definitely will not regret.

Skid Bowl: Not so Not

What started out as an off-handed comment to my mother about needing more poop bags turned into an afternoon of browsing through the local pet store with her this weekend as we debated what type of yard odor eliminator would be best for our backyard and what rubber toys would last the longest between our two trouble-makers. As we walked around the store, filling our basket with even more toys (because the sign said buy three, get the fourth free so how could we not?), we ended up passing an entire aisle with nothing but food and water bowls. They had every shape, size, and color imaginable. Designs ranged from fish and mice (for cats), to bones, crowns, fire hydrants, and even some with amusing phrases like “Bad to the bone.” There were also much simpler silver bowls, much like the ones these two have at home.

Plain bowls are fun. They are nice and plain. They are easily washed in the dishwasher every week and do their job of holding food and water admirably. However, there is one problem with these plain silver bowls that has arisen since we adopted Rosee almost a year ago. These bowls slide. They slide a lot. Especially when in the midst of eating, and I guess Rosee just uses her nose more to push around the food than Simon does, the bowl moves across our linoleum floor and not even putting it on the kitchen carpet makes a difference.

Now, this sliding wouldn’t be a huge problem (so what if the bowl moves a few inches during the minute it takes Rosee to inhale her food?), except she would push her bowl all the way around the kitchen, thereby making it even more difficult to eat and bumping into Simon a few times in her quest to get to all of her food. Simon never minded Rosee’s sliding much, too intent on slurping up his own food at break-neck speed. However, to the human who took it upon herself to block Rosee’s bowl with her feet while she ate (i.e. me) so the girl could eat more comfortably, the whole sliding act became an annoying problem.

What’s a girl to do?

Find a non-skid bowl that’s what!

And that is exactly what I did. While at the pet store with my mom I came across this plastic, blue bowl that proudly proclaimed it did not skid. How excited was I to see the rubber lining the bottom of the bowl? Super! So I added the bowl to our growing basket and walked out of the pet store confident that Rosee’s sliding act had seen its final curtain.

This blue bowl comes from JW Pet Company, whose tagline proudly states “Intelligent ideas. Happy pets.” Now, I’d have to agree with JW, as I have never seen a bowl quite like this one. Pleasantly named the Skid Stop Slow Feed bowl (large), this particular bowl seemed to be a dream come true.

Not only does it promise not to skid, but it was also advertised to help slow a dog down while eating, as it has four dividers that stick out into the center of the bowl to make getting to the food a little harder for the dog. I found this design incredibly helpful because Rosee, and Simon too, both gobble down their food as if they haven’t seen food before. Having just that little something like the dividers make Rosee slow down and actually chew her food seemed like a great addition to an already great bowl. And the best part? The bowl only cost seven dollars. With all of this greatness coming to rest in the make-up of a single blue plastic bowl I got home, washed it, and put it down on the floor ready to put it to good use.

Unfortunately, with all of the promise it showed at the store, it delivered little at home. I’ll have you know, the skidding has not been put to pasture, only slowed down. The bowl still moves over our linoleum floor quite easily. However, it moves a lot less when placed on the kitchen carpet, so for now Rosee’s eating spot has been moved to the carpet permanently. This move is not a big deal, it’s not like she spills or makes a mess. I was just really looking forward to no skidding at all, especially on the linoleum floor. I do have to say, the bowl’s promise of slowing down eating up to five times seems to be true. Now, instead of scarfing down her food, Rosee takes her time eating her food out of the individual sections and navigating her way around the dividers.

Overall, I would call this JW Skid Stop Slow Feed bowl a good buy. It may not have completely stop the skidding, but it did temper it, and it really delivered on its promise to slow down eating. Also, for the price this bowl was a worthy investment, so much so that my mom is looking forward to going and buying one for Simon who is not a “skidder, “but a “scarfer” and could benefit from eating slower as well. For anyone looking at this bowl or others similar, I could only tell you from my own experience to not expect miracles, or big changes. Rather this bowl provided Rosee’s eating game with minor tweaks that over time will add up to positives such as not tripping over the food bowl underneath the kitchen island and no doggie bloat which can come with eating too quickly. In the end, I’d still call that a win.