My friends and family know me very well. For my birthday this past weekend, I was showered with lots of fun, new swag for the future dog:
Liz (Bo’s mama) gave me a cornucopia of wonderful dog things: The Kong toy I’m calling the “octo-bunny,” on your left, which she says has lasted the longest of any of Bo’s chew toys; the bag dispenser which is discreet and just what I would have picked out myself; the Kong Extreme, able to withstand the most devoted chewer; and the cute PetCo tennis ball.
My dear friend Eva gave me the gift card to PetSmart, which I will definitely put to good use very soon, and the dog breed handbook. We’ve both been dog nerds since childhood and spent a lot of the 10-miler together pointing out and identifying dog breeds together. Along with a lot of mutts, we successfully identified a pair of Clumber spaniels and a Gordon setter around miles 5 and 6. Such geeks.
And then my husband gave me that beautiful leather leash from All K-9, which was recommended to me by Jen from The Elka Almanac!
I am particularly excited about the leash:
Jen, you’re right, it already feels soft and broken-in and I get the feeling that it will last for a long time to come. I love the brass hardware and the brass ring on the handle. Can’t wait to put this–and all of the other goodies!–to good use for the future pup.
Size Matters. Patricia McConnell reflects on a study about the way people treat and perceive big and small dogs. She also considers why small dogs are usually less well-behaved or, really, just less well-trained, than bigger ones. Interesting stuff. (The Other End of the Leash)
Drafting Dog. A German shepherd attends a drafting event near our current town. Looks like a great event for a strong dog! Has anyone ever participated in a drafting before? (German Shepherd Mom)
Dog Vaccinations: What Not to Do. Jana Rade’s opinions on vaccinating your dog. What do you think? I know it’s a touchy issue and it seems that it’s often a divided war between veterinarians and dog owners. I confess that I’m not really sure about many of these issues; I feel like I have a lot of research to do. (That Mutt)
First Diabetic Alert Dog in Scotland. Meet this sweet-faced spaniel who can accurately predict this Scottish woman’s diabetic comas. Pretty amazing. I imagine diabetic service dogs will become increasingly interesting to Americans, where diabetes is something of a national epidemic. (Dog Days)
Robin + Fiona. OK, here’s a game: Guess the puppy breed! These are such sweet photos of a litter of white puppies… Any guesses as to what breed they are? I confess I feel stumped myself. Some kind of terrier? Or am I totally off-base and it’s just a scruffy-looking litter of white golden retrievers? I bet one of you can help me out here. Trickier, since the photos are all in black-and-white. (Cramer Photo)
A Big Batch of Bean and Friends. This, clearly, is not a pup link, but I don’t have anywhere else to share this, and I’m just enamored with these photos of a beautiful mama cat and her precious kittens playing together. Yes, they are cats, but they are really warming my heart this morning. (The Itty Bitty Kitty Committee)
Let it be known that I hold strong leash biases. I LOVE a soft, non-nylon leash, especially a rope leash or a leather leash. I DETEST retractable leashes in almost all walk circumstances. And I hate a nylon burn on my hand, which has happened many times at the SPCA.
Now that that’s out there, here are some great leashes that I like the look of from around the Web:
(Click on the pictures to shop!)
This is the leash I’m pretty sure I want. After having used a Mendota leash with Dublin before, I was sold. After a few uses, it becomes very soft, and the braided rope is very strong. The leash is also quite affordable. I think it could probably qualify as a rope leash, too? They’re also sold in a slip-collar version, which is also appealing.
I bought this leash in orange already, because sometimes I like to go running with Bo at night. I feel like both of us are so much safer with this leash, since we tend to run around a lot of busy streets when it gets dark. I do wish the tape was on both sides of the leash, but for $7, I really can’t complain!
A nice, classic burgundy leather leash, which is also 6 feet long. It seems like a nice 6-foot leather lead is somewhat hard to find. And you can’t beat that price.
Look, ma! No hands! This could be a great option for those who like to run with their dogs.
Do you have a particular leash that you’re loyal to? Any that you’d recommend?
A lot of interesting, dog-centric links from around the Web this past week:
Getting the Most from Dog Training Classes. These are really helpful and insightful pointers about how to get more bang for your buck in a training class. I wouldn’t have thought of many of these things, and I’m glad I read this before signing up for a training class. (Oh Behave!)
Surprise! These (pretty adorable) photos of a border collie pup are proof positive that breeds have strong, inborn instincts. (Alta-Pete Farm Tails)
Wrapping Up the 2011 Budgeting Project–Onward to 2012! If you ever wanted a seriously comprehensive glimpse of pet finances, look no further than M.C. and her Bows. This is a really helpful year overview and it’s inspired me to keep track of my own purchases for my future dog. (The House of Two Bows)
Finding a Purpose for a Pup. A success story of a sheep-killing German shepherd turned drug-busting police dog. Just proof that every dog has his proper place, if only we’ll give them a chance to find it. (The Bark Blog)
Dog-related links from around the Web this past week:
Shivapuri National Park Trekking. My crazy and adventurous little sister traveled around the world for six months, mainly in Nepal and India. While in the Kathmandu Valley in Nepal, she hiked in Shivapuri National Park. These are some of her photos. I include her post here because she said that she was followed for hours up the hike by the sweet village dog featured here. I love it, because it strikes me as a simple and beautiful testimony of the undying magnetism between dogs and people: We just want to be together. (Como Say What?)
Too compassionate? A young farmer reflects on being judged for leaving her dogs in the car for just a few minutes. The attached Portlandia sketch (“Whose dog is this?”) is totally hilarious, too. What do you think about this? Is it possible to be “too compassionate”? (Cold Antler Farm)
Moleskine Passions Dog Journal. My brother-in-law gave me this journal for Christmas and I, of course, am totally excited to get to use it! (Dog Milk)
Icons & Dogs: Marilyn Monroe. A collage of photos of Monroe with a variety of dogs. I just watched “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” for the first time this weekend, so this post piqued my interest. (Miles to Style)
My enchantment with rope leashes has been well documented here. Thankfully, there is an affordable alternative with the braided Mendota leashes. Even though it’s not rope, Mendota makes leashes that are the (much!) cheaper version of that gorgeous Found rope leash.
After you walk a dog on one of these leashes, you’ll never want to go back to flat nylon! With a few uses, the leash becomes very soft and pliable–but still strong. DogSupplies.com sells a wide variety of styles and colors of Mendota leashes. These leashes are definitely on my wish list for our future dog.
Anthropologie’s Pet Project. One of my favorite clothing stores, Anthropologie, is hosting a pet adoption/shelter supplies drive around the country. Check it out and see if there’s an event near you! Unfortunately, there aren’t any drives in Virginia. Would give me a good excuse to shop and donate… (Anthropologie)
Producers, Take Note. This writer wants to see a production of Waiting for Godot with an all-dog cast. Beckett would have loved it. I’m in! (The Hairpin)
Canine-centric links from around the WWW this week:
Considering Pet Ownership? Here’s How Much to Budget. Mint.com is making infographics just for me these days! This was really helpful to see across the board and it’ll be useful as we plan our finances for the future dog. Do you think these numbers are accurate? Do you spend more or less than the average American on your dog? (Mint)
Blind Dog Has Her Own Seeing-Eye Dog. This is the cutest thing I’ve EVER seen. My eyes might be misting up. If we ever needed proof that dogs are the greatest animals alive… (The Hydrant)
Neighborhood Watch Movie. Our brilliant wedding photographer made this adorable short film of her beautiful black lab, Orvis, standing guard over the neighborhood. I love watching his nose twitch. (Meredith Perdue)