First off, this leash is incredibly comfortable to hold. You wouldn’t think so by looking at it but I have walked, run, skied and bushwhacked with it in every season and you hardly know it’s there. Part of it is the soft rubber coating on the handle but it’s mostly the moulded shape that snugs right into your palm.
Next, it is very strong. When my 65 lb male Samoyed goes after a squirrel, the half inch wide, spring loaded belt pays out until it reaches the end and whammo: full stop, no problem. I haven’t cracked the case to see how the end of the belt attaches to the reel but it has stood up to this punishment nearly every day for several years now. Of course, this also speaks to how the spring-loaded, stainless steel D clip is fastened to the dog end of the belt: it’s looped through, folded back and crimped with a plastic clamshell.
The leash has an elegant locking-mechanism that works reliably and intuitively by pushing a button with your thumb and then engaging a switch. This locks the belt at whatever length you want, and yep, it holds firm when charging dog meets end of leash. The belt is released just by pushing the switch again. Both setting and releasing the length are easy to do with one gloved hand.
When you run, walk or ski with your dog, the reel constantly pays out and retrieves slack (unless you’ve set the lock) so the belt rarely gets tangled the way other leashes can. This adjusts for both human arm swinging as well as for various dog movements. I sometimes clip the Flexi onto my belt, which frees up both hands for hiking or ski poles, or for carrying stuff.
Finally, it is almost completely silent. Impressive that in all seasons, with the belt getting wet, dirty and freezing, it has not developed the slightest squeak. -- Tam Stewart
On March 13, Madrid became a no-kill city, making the euthanasia of stray or abandoned animals illegal. That means all animals—even homeless ones—are free to live their lives.
This $8 Star Trek bag dispenser is dangling off Nemo's leash, ensuring I am ready to clean up after he has boldly gone.
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My cats will tolerate having their nails clipped for about 45 seconds before they start to squirm out of my lap.
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A friend gave my dog the Hol-ee Roller ($6) in January, and my dog and I like it so much that I have since started to phase-out other dog toys. It is durable. My dog is a strong chewer, and has destroyed many a lesser toy. It is attractive. Who doesn’t love a geodesic dome? It is light and squishy, bouncing off objects denser balls would damage. It is large. This might not seem important, but my dog has been known to attempt furniture disassembly while attempting to retrieve a ball that has rolled under the sofa. Despite its size, it is easy to pick up. Dogs can chomp on a vertex, and I can hook it with a finger. Touching it is not disgusting. Despite its size, it has little surface area to get slimy. And no tennis ball fuzz. -- Jonathan Harford
My daughter insisted that Nemo, our Great Pyrenees, needed this stuffed Yoda dog toy. My daughter likes it so much she now wants the Jedi master for her own.
A few days ago my daughter found this very nice quality Yoda for our dogs to play with. Today, when I suggested she let them have the doll, a giant fight broke out. It appears Yoda is so soft and snuggly that my seven year old wants him for her self. Yoda is inexpensive enough that I offered to buy a second one, but she now wants to try and share.
The stuffy feels well made and ought to last. I wouldn't give this to a puppy, for fear the stuffing will be everywhere, but my 2 year old dogs will not destroy it. The kid can share.
STAR WARS Yoda Plush Dog Toy, 10" L X 9" W
You'll still be allowed to put tags in your guinea pigs' and rabbits' ears, but no more tattooing or piercing unless it's for the animal's benefit.
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Ever wonder what it feels like to be a dog who FINALLY gets let off-leash? Witness the excitement as this GoPro-equipped yellow lab bounds across the rocks toward a very happy ending.
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Boing Boing reader Benjamin G. Levy shares this photo in our Flickr Pool. "Hannah relaxes with her bear friend."
My dogs love toys that pay out treats. The Tug-A-Jug by PetSafe is another winner for the small to medium sized dog.
Pretzel, my Cavalier King Charles, drags the medium sized bottle around even after it is empty. The design is simple, a knotted rope in the neck of the bottle offers treats some resistance, so they don't just pour out. Your dog has to tip, tilt and batter the bottle to get treats to fall out. Note, however, if Nemo, my Great Pyrenees, was interested in this bottle it would be dust.
PetSafe claims you can feed your entire dog an entire meal with this bottle. I have two dogs and carefully regulate the amount of food each gets I doubt I'll try.
PetSafe Busy Buddy Tug-A-Jug Meal Dispensing Dog Toy, Medium/Large
Previously on Boing Boing:
KONG Extreme dog toy
Treat Triad dog puzzle
Another great dog distraction - the Busy Buddy Kibble Nibble
Ben Marks of Collectors Weekly says: "Last week, Wink published a review of Cat Food for Thought and Dog Food for Thought by Warren Dotz. Coincidentally, we had an interview with Warren in the works, which we just published, along with a few of the mid-20th-century pet-food labels from his book."
Here's a snip of Warren talking about some of the auctions he won to build up his collection:
“I found a scrapbook made by a woman who had collected all the food labels she used from 1970 to 1972,” recalls Dotz of one auction. “I also found a supermarket’s salesman's catalog that contained all the labels for its generic, store-branded products. When I bought that catalog, I was hoping I would find a fantastic pet-food label, and sure enough I did. It was for a brand of cat food called Corky — it looks almost like the Napster logo.”
Cartoon kittens and big-eyed puppies: how we bought into processed pet food
Via Reddit, photographer unknown.
Under a new law in Turkey:
Anybody who wants to have a pet at home will need to undergo training. They will also have to provide suitable accommodation for the welfare of the animal, as well as meeting its ethological needs and care for its health. With the new arrangement, sales of all kinds of pets and animals except for fish and birds will be banned in pet shops. Also, prison sentences will be introduced for torture and ill-treatment of animals.
Also, zoophilia gets you 2 years in jail
A fantastic dog toy with a name only the eleventh Doctor could love! Meet the Nobbly Nubbly!
This combination treat holder and dental stimulator entertains my Great Pyr Nemo for hours.
The end-caps of this bone shaped chewer unscrew, allowing you to place two disks of beef rawhide/jerky between the hard nylon-bone style frame and soft rubbery gum massager. Dogs chew with gusto to get the little disks out! Nemo will spend 45-60 minutes working at it. Keep the ends screwed on tight though! Once I left a cap slightly loose and he unscrewed in moments.
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Via Bored Panda, photographs from Rocky Ridge Refuge in Arkansas, a facility that cares for abused and abandoned animals from some 60 domestic and wild species. [Facebook, website].
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I cannot begin to explain the loss that is Molly. She was just a few weeks shy of her 13th birthday. She lived the most amazing, cared for, caring life a Cavalier King Charles could dream. My Molly had the deepest, most soulful eyes you have ever seen on any creature or finest work of art. Everyone who met her loved her. Even dog haters could not resist this dog, because Molly might actually have been love herself.
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Janet Sinclair and her dog "Sedona"
When Janet Sinclair shipped her greyhound from San Diego to Boston with United Airlines' PetSafe program, she was horrified to discover her dog nearly dead on arrival, covered in feces and blood, with blood in its stool and urine. The dog had been exposed to punishing heat, its cage had been kicked across United's shipping facilities by their handlers. The vet bill was $2700, and the vet confirmed that the dog's injuries were the result of heat stroke and rough treatment.
United agreed to pay the vet bill, but only if Sinclair would sign a nondisclosure agreement promising not to tell anyone about their monumental screw-up. Instead, Sinclair went public. The ensuing media attention revealed hundreds of other people whose pets were injured and killed by United.
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Pretzel going bonkers for the Treat Triad dog puzzle on a rainy, indoors day.
These past few rainy days, I've been trying to entertain my dogs with puzzles. The Treat Triad is a clear winner.
Both a Great Pyrenees and a Cavalier King Charles, dogs large and small, love smacking the spinner around and then figuring out how to open the treat bay doors. It is light, simple and hasn't broken apart after hours of battering.
Treat puzzles are no way to get the dog to let you sleep, but they certainly keep them busy when its too nasty to go out!
The Treat Triad
We like to let our dogs take us outside for both our benefits and theirs. But keeping them hydrated without letting them resort to slurping up who-knows-what from puddles has been a sort of a problem.
We’ve tried a variety of doggy-intended canteen things. Nalgene bottles & floppy bowls. Little buckets & bottles. Everything was either a pain for us or the dogs weren’t interested in some stinky wet plastic — no matter how thirsty they were.
I recently bought some bottles from H2O4K9.com. The dogs took to them immediately. The bottles themselves are stainless steel. The “insulated” version’s dog-trough is big enough that both our dogs get water at the same time, sorta, and it looks like it’s big enough for large-muzzled pooches.
The insulated “K9 Unit” and non insulated bottles are both 25 ounce capacity. There’s a 9 ounce model for dogs-who-are-cat-sized too. -- Wayne Ruffner
H2O4K9 Dog Canteen: $10 – $15 | Insulated model: $20
Mobile pet photographer Ren Netherland has a category of portraits on his site titled "Extreme Pets." These are two of them. Yes, they are both dogs. (Thanks, Koshi!)
A raid on a pet shop owner's house near Bangkok turned up 14 albino lions and other rarities
, landing the owner in jail on charges of illegally possessing wildlife. "We received a complaint about the smell from the neighbours," said local police colonel Ek Ekasart. [Sky News]
A Spanish town called Brunete used volunteers to covertly identify people who had left their dog's shit on the public sidewalk (the volunteers chatted up the dog owners' about their dogs' breeds, this was cross-referenced against the register of dogs). The volunteers then packaged up the turds in a "lost property" box and returned them to the owners. 20 volunteers delivered 147 crap-o-grams and reported a 70 percent drop in public poop after the program ran (they did not disclose their methodology for calculating this).
On the one hand, this is funny. On the other hand, it's a sobering reminder of how trivially small pieces of seemingly innocuous information can be used to identify people. On the third hand, people who let their dogs crap on the sidewalk and don't pick it up are the worst human beings on Earth, and I join with Mark Thomas in calling for a law that requires people to wear any unclaimed turds as a mustache for a full day.
Spanish town posts dog mess back to offending hound owners
Black leopard compared to black house cat. "Duality," directed by Rich Kuras.
From the Boing Boing Flickr pool, a wonderful photo by Kai Teoh, a Boing Boing reader and photographer based in Minnesota who is available for editorial and special occasions booking.
"Fat Tuesday," shot and shared in the Boing Boing Flickr Pool by Fred Facker. "He was absolutely not excited about Mardi Gras at all ... whatsoever."
Barking might just be a reflex for agitated dogs. It might be a side-effect of domestication — i.e., when you select for less-aggressive animals you get ones that tend to bark. Or, it really might have meaning, both for other dogs and for humans. At Scientific American, Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods describe some of the research on dog communication, including studies that show both humans and dogs can tell the difference between barks associated with, say, food, and barks associated with the presence of a threatening stranger.
Behold, a truly fantastic gift for the cat in your life — catnip-filled soft toys shaped like amoebas, cyanobacteria, and (pictured above) giardia.
Giardia are microscopic parasites that can invade the guts of vertebrate animals, including cats and humans. Generally, you get it by ingesting giardia-infested feces. For humans, this mostly means contaminated drinking water, because giardia are harder to kill than you might think. They can survive quite happily outside of a host and are resistant to chlorine.
Blue giardia cat toy
Read more on giardia (and see pictures) at the CDC website
Mario would be proud. From shironekoshiro