Happy Hound's 2015 Holiday Shopping Guide
It's nearing the end of winter and with the very welcome warmer weather comes the not so welcome wet paws. The ten inches of snow we received in early March is now one inch of standing water on some VERY saturated grass. So when our good friends at Happy Hound sent us a Soggy Doggy Doormat to test out, I was (in a word) thrilled.
My first impression was how plush and thick the microfibers felt. They were super soft to touch and quite spongy. I have to admit, when I unrolled the mat I stood barefoot on it just to feel the fibers between my toes ... s'not weird. I received the Large size (a generous 26" x 36") in caramel with the oatmeal bone design - the perfect size and color for our foyer. There was ample room for the front door to swing over the fibers and the no-slip grips on the back of the mat held it in place.
But the true test of course was at hand ... er, paw. I didn't want to disappoint, so I let him really go at it in a few puddles. His paws were pretty wet and pretty dirty. If I wasn't testing the mat, I would have brought out one of the towels we keep in the coat closet and a few baby wipes, but I restrained myself for the sake of research. Whiskey doesn't currently know a command to wipe his paws, but he does know the command to spin which I instructed him to do several times. And then ... he stepped on my white carpet ...
I was shocked. I figured the mat would be good at soaking up water, but I had low expectations for mud removal. But the plush texture and loose fibrous top seemed to wipe dirt away quite easily. I can't say his paws were completely bone dry. Obviously the tops of his paws and his legs were still damp, but the bottom of his paws passed our cream carpet test. Matter of fact, it passed our cream carpet test three more times in the same day. Also notable was the no-slip backing which kept the mat from moving while Whiskey did his spins. It doesn't keep the edges of the mat from moving if you were to accidentally lift an edge with a foot, and I can't say for sure if it would keep the mat in place if your pooch performs the "wipe paws" command. However, I would say it is comparable to any bathroom mat.
I'm really impressed with the Soggy Doggy Doormat. It's a handy product, especially through the rainy months of spring. It even soaks up moisture from our shoes - taking care of all household paws! I also like that the mat comes in several sizes: Small (18" x 24"), Large (26" x 36"), and Extra Large (36" x 60"). Also quite attractive are the many color options the mat comes in. If you live in a soggy spring environment, you might consider giving these mats a go. I think we'll even purchase another one in extra large for the sliding back door.
Ruffwear Roamer Leash
With the New Year comes New Year resolutions, and, if your resolution includes more exercise for you and your pup, grab a dumbbell for one handed curls (see I'm helpin' you out already) and keep reading!
My husband and I decided to forgo big gifts this past Christmas and stick to stocking stuffers. Unlike myself, he is a big runner (I'm the first to go in a zombie apocalypse) so I stuffed his stock with gear for jogging. Among the balaclava and wireless headphones, I knew a hands-free running leash for Whiskey would be a great fit. After researching a few options, I purchased the Ruffwear Roamer Leash from our friends at Happy Hound.
The Ruffwear Roamer Leash is a lightweight, six foot, hands-free leash. One end attaches around the waist with an adjustable Talon Hook™ and the other attaches to the dog's collar with a scissor clip. Near the scissor clip is a convenient traffic handle (in case you need to quickly control your canine). The a significant portion of the leash's length includes internal elastic which provides some give and resistance when stretched. We found that all the hardware and straps were well crafted, durable, and comfortable.
The first thing you'll notice is the Talon Hook™ which secures the padded handle around your waist. This can be a bit tricky at first use. The quality of the straps are very tough as it's meant to last quite a while, so the webbing loop can be stiff when first used. Fortunately, Ruffwear has a great video on their website explaining how to release the loop from the hook. Over time, the loop has broken in and is significantly less difficult to remove. FYI - the padded handle can also be used as a regular hand held loop, so the Ruffwear Flat Out can perform regular leash duties as well!
So how does it perform? Extremely well. The waist strap is easy to adjust and fits comfortably without becoming loose during the run. The length of the leash gives Whiskey some freedom without being so long he feels too far away to quickly stop if need be. It's also short enough it will not drag on the ground or present a tripping hazard. We also really appreciate the built in traffic handle as we never know if we'll be in a situation where we need to keep him close (passing other dogs, wildlife distractions, crossing traffic, etc.). Based on the huffing and puffing hubby is doing in the above photos (and the smile on Whiskey's face), I'd say the leash is a hit! Go me and my Christmas gifting abilities
There is one caveat to the use of this leash. It is not designed for a dog who isn't already leash trained. The elastic within the webbing is convenient in a sense it provides some gentle resistance when your pooch reaches the end of the leash's length. This is so he won't pull you over by suddenly unbalancing you from the middle and also so he won't effectively clothesline himself in the process. But dogs who don't understand leash etiquette and consistently pull will stretch out the elastic over time, creating a longer leash. Keep this in mind when considering any type of hands-free leash.
Overall we love the Ruffwear Roamer Leash - both in concept and performance. It's durable, functional, takes seconds to attach, and comes in many different colors besides the very manly black and grey (I didn't think hubby would appreciate pink). It's also easy to care for by hand washing with mild detergent (the hardware could damage your appliances if machine washed). But its biggest pro is the idea behind its use - that exercising can and should include having fun with your dog. That's one resolution we can run behind!
Review by Bethany Williams (www.whiskeytheaussie.com)
Do you have a dog that gets bored easily and heads on a mischievous hunt for trouble all through the home? Perhaps a dog that likes to howl at the moon when baby is sleeping? Does your pup despise his crate? Or maybe you have a doggie Einstein that simply needs challenging.
Regardless of size, age, breed and temperament, all dogs can benefit from treat dispensing toys and doggie puzzles. These toys can distract troublemakers, calm nervous nellies and challenge smarty pups. They also make for a great way to feed dogs that eat too quickly.
A few of our favorites:
- West Paw Design Toppl
- Planet Dog Snoop
- Starmark Bob-a-lot
- P.L.A.Y Bobble
- Planet Dog Diamond Double Tuff
- Nina Ottosson Puzzles
Stop by Happy Hound today and let us help you find the right toys for enriching your pup's life.