Author Archives: dexterkelly

The Soggy Doggy Towel Makes Bath Time A Breeze

First of all, you are probably wondering, what is the Soggy Doggy towel? It is essentially a 33″ by 14″ shammy made from chenille.

The two unique attributes of this towel are it’s shape and it’s construction.

An overview of the Soggy Doggy Towel showing hand pockets

An overview of the Soggy Doggy Towel showing hand pockets

The Soggy Doggy towel features two hand pockets to make drying easy

The Soggy Doggy towel features two hand pockets to make drying easy

The Soggy Doggy towel has built-in pockets on either end for your hands. This allows you to control the towel more accurately. I was able to guide the towel down Dexter’s legs and reach all the way under his belly. This allows the towel to absorb more water than a standard bath towel.

The second interesting feature are the hundreds of little nubs that increase the surface area of the towel which allows it to absorb more water. The packaging claims it can “hold up to 7 times it’s weight in water”. After using this towel, I believe that!

Opening the Soggy Doggy Towel

I ordered this towel from Amazon but they are available at several retailers. It arrives in two days. The packaging want amazing but it did the job; a plastic bag with a fold-over cardboard hang strip. It had all the use and care instructions printed on it.

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Towel information tag

Soggy Doggy Information tag

I don’t have a dedicated pet sink or tub so my dogs get bathed in the bathtub. It’s a confined space which means I often get wet as they shake. The towel is light and easy to add to my collection of things.

I currently use Tropiclean to suds up, and a little plastic storage container to rinse. I have a five dollar hair dryer just for dog drying. The towel is a nice addition because it doesn’t mean I need to use a bath towel as well.

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A soggy doggy ready for his Soggy Doggy Towel

Dexter was just groomed so his fur isn’t that long. Typically he would have a for length of four inches but he was much shorter this bath. After the usual wet/lather/rinse routine, it was time to try out the towel.

It was very easy to use. My adult hands had lots of extra room in the pockets. As I mentioned earlier, the towel is easy to control as you move it over the dog. I would hold Dexter’s belly in with hand and rum my other hand down his opposite leg. The towel let me fully circle his leg which maximized drying.

I can’t speak for him, but I bet he enjoyed the massage of hundreds of little towel ‘fingers’.

Almost dry after a few rubs using the Soggy Doggy towel

The amount of water removed from this dog is amazing. While I mentioned he had fairly sorry hair this bath, even before he left the tub he had mostly dried. It took only there it four minutes with the hair dryer to finish the job and fluff him up!

When finished, I hung the towel to dry. I hang most of my clothes to dry (no sense using the drier when Mother Nature will do it for free, without the shrinking), and the towel doesn’t take up much space on the rack; less than a standard towel.

The washing and drying instructions are as follows:

Machine wash cold
Wash separately
Do not bleach
Dry low
Do not dry clean
Do not iron

This towel is great for baths, but here in the Northeast we get rain often, and snow in the winter and I have no doubt that this towel will be useful during those times as well.

Soggy Doggy also makes several variations of a doormat, a slop mat for under food bowls, big and fluffy beds, and a humorously titled “Slobber Swabber” which is essentially a shammy on a stick. Check them all out on the Soggy Doggy website: https://www.soggydoggydoormat.com

Dogs and Dog Products Are The Stars on ABC's Shark Tank

ABC’s ‘Shark Tank’ Unleashes Hit Pet Products

Avid followers of the hit ABC television show Shark Tank are already aware the incredible platform the show gives to up and coming companies who are looking for their ‘big break’.

Contestants on show bring their products in front of a panel of millionaire (at least!) judges, or “sharks” as they are referred to, in the hopes of landing an investment. Often times, profitable companies will appear on the show looking for the injection of knowledge and industry connections that the sharks bring, and not just a financial investment.

The panel of Sharks is comprised of a panel of investors (namely Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Marc Cuban; along with a few guest ‘sharks’) have evaluated business investment opportunities from every-day inventors and small business owners.

While not all of the contestants leave the ‘tank’ with an investment, some do, and go on to reap the benefits of the years of knowledge (and cash!) that the Shark/investor have accumulated.

Wondercide product photo

Wondercide is a natural flea and tick and pet control products for pets and people. The company was founded when Stephanie Booth was not satisfied with the current flea and tick sprays on the market.

“I thought I was keeping Luna safe by using flea & tick control prescribed by a vet, but when she experienced devastating side effects ranging from skin issues to organ failure, I knew there had to be a better way. ” – Stephanie Booth

They were full of toxic chemicals and were mostly water. She developed a formula which was made from food grade ingredients, which was safe to use on pets, children, and around the house. Their online sales soon skyrocketed and long before they entered the Shark Tank, they were profitable. The hurdle they needed to overcome was retail stores. While their online sales were stellar, they didn’t have a retail presence. In today’s ‘instant gratification’ society, they needed to put bottles on the shelves, so customers could use the product immediately.

That vision came to fruition when Shark Lori Greiner stepped in with the expertise they were looking for. Wondercide is now available in stores across the United States and, of course, online.

Wondercide has a great post about their journey on Shark Tank, what the process was like, and how the experience impacted them. It is a great read for any companies looking to go on the show.

Looking for an update on how the company is doing after Shark Tank? Check out this great read from the Gazette Review: What Happened After Shark Tank?

ICPooch Logo

ICPooch is an interesting case study. While the idea for the product was ahead of her time, it seems like inventor Booke Martin may have pioneered the wifi-treat dispensing industry. She took this idea from the early Kickstarter stages, through development, shipping, and onto Shark Tank, only to have no investors bite.

Today, however there are a wide variety of such products available that allow pet owners to not only dispense treats, but also meals, and allow them to see their pet through a device-mounted camera while away.

In another post here, I assembled a list of the Top Automated Pet Feeders. Not all of them are wi-fi enabled, or can even be considered “connected” devices, but it is a great list to start with for finding the best automated pet food dispenser.

The Ringer has a great article on the State of the Connected Pet which tries to figure out why pet owners are flocking to technology.

The ICPooch website states the company is no longer in operation, but the spirit behind it lives on.

Himalayan Dog Chew Cheese Treat

The team behind the Himalayan Dog Chew is certainly unique. The brought their experience with this “people snack” from Nepal and adapted it to a “dog treat” in America.

The product itself is quite unique. Take some yak and cow milk boil it, add salt and lime; press it in burlap and age it for a few months. After, it is cut into strips that dogs enjoy chewing on, similar to a Nylabone, but this is edible! When your dog chews through it, leaving a small end, it can be microwaved and will ‘puff’ into a cheese treat.

Not all offers in the Shark Tank end in a deal. The creators of this product couldn’t reach an agreement with any of the sharks, but they certainly have gone on to success. Their pre-Shark Tank revenue was over $5 million and since then they have expanded their product line significantly to include Yaky Charms “dog popcorn” which you microwave like traditional popcorn; and fabric chew toys.

They have a very cute Twitter feed full of pups and cheese sticks: https://twitter.com/himalayanpet

fresh patch grass delivery service logo

Arguably one of the most interesting pet products to ever dare visit the Shark Tank is Fresh Patch.

This company delivers two sizes of grass segments which are used indoors as a replacement for pee pads, and synthetic grass. Their premise is that dogs naturally gravitate to peeing on real grass, and due to the location or conditions, not all dogs can conveniently make it outside to do their business on naturally-occurring grass.

The solution? Turn to Fresh Patch which will regularly send you (on a subscription model) a ‘fresh patch’ of grass. They sell optional frames for the grass to sit in; though you can leave the grass in its shipping container during use.

While the founder came into the tank with just over 500 subscribers, after the show aired, he was shipping over 1000 ever day!  His partnership with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran has certainly paid off!

While there are several competitors offering a similar product (live grass delivered), there are also alternatives including newspaper inserts, synthetic grass, and absorbent pee pads.

 

To summarize, there are all kinds of outcomes contestants on Shark Tank can leave with. Some come in looking for money they desperately need to continue or grow their business (for example, ICPooch), others come looking for the exposure (as in the case of Himalayan dog treats), while a third group come to the show to learn from the Sharks and bring their products to new markets (Wondercide).

Its no secret that this show has certainly become a hit, and done a lot of good for several entrepreneurs which speaks to its ability to attract viewers and participants.

The best part of this show is building the Entrepreneurial Spirit of everyone watching at home. How often do we have frustration completing a task and say “there must be a better way!” Taking the lessons learned by the Sharks and by the contentions appearing on the show, we can make “the better way” a reality, and take our solution to an every day frustration and turn it into a business.

Watching Shark Tank will give you the basics of what is required for a successful business, but the Sharks have shared their knowledge in the books they have written. In those books, you can learn from a  lifetime of experience. Check out the titles below for some interesting, and inspiring! reading.

Easy Homemade Dog Treats With Simple Ingredients

While browsing through a number of blogs, I found a post on Two Little Cavaliers on a simple recipe for dog treats.

I like recipes with simple ingredients. I try to eat simple food and ensuring I do my best to keep my dogs food as uncomplicated as possible is important as well. 

This recipe has only six ingredients and is very simple to prepare and bake.

The original recipe instructed to use a cookie cutter, however, both of my dogs are small and I wanted to keep the portions small as well. Combined that I only have a Halloween bat-shaped cookie cutter on hand led me to find alternatives.

I used the metal cap for a liquor bottle I had which measured 1 3/4″ in diameter. The dough, when baked, does not rise or spread so the end result is very close in size to the original shape.

Using every piece of dough, I was able to make approximately 83 pieces when using my small circular “cookie cutter”. The treats fit nicely into a Mason jar that I can keep in my treat basket.

Here is a link to the original recipe. 

You will need:

  • Whole wheat flour
  • Coconut oil
  • Water
  • Honey
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground Ginger
  • (Optional) Carob chips

The author gives more instruction on how to use carob to make the fancy decorations, but I chose to omit that.

Because of the spices, the house smelled wonderful as the treats we’re baking. When I fed a fer cooled ones to my pups, they continues to ask for more! This recipe is a real winner!

Preparing the ingredients

Mixing in the wet ingredients

Refrigerated dough ready for rolling and cutting

All cut into circles and ready for baking

Lined up in rows on parchment paper, ready for the oven!

Fully baked and now cooling

Cooled and ready for eating! The bottle cap made them the perfect size for snacks

Packed in a Mason jar in the treat basket, ready for good dogs!

Dexter ate the treat so fast the camera missed it!


Looking for another treat!

Two Little Cavaliers has a lot of great recipes for simple homemade dog treats for you to make for your furry friend!

Rescue Dogs Take Over ABC’s The View

On the August 3rd, 2017 episode of The View, rescue dogs from the BARC Shelter in Brooklyn were the stars, along regular co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, Sarah Haines, and Jedediah Bilah.

Bill Smith of BARC introduced several adoptable pups of an assorted mix of breeds that would be suitable for all kinds of families.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC's The View

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC’s The View

BARC’s mission is “to provide a safe haven for abandoned animals and to find permanent loving homes for them. While in our care, we provide them with quality food, shelter, medical attention, and the love they deserve.”

Check out the website for The View to see all of the dogs featured on the episode.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

The View has long been an advocate for rescue dogs. They feature an annual episode “Mutt Show” also featuring dogs available for adoption from shelters across the U.S.

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View's "Best In Shelter" episode

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View’s “Best In Shelter” episode

Jill Rappaport, a long-time animal activist, has made several appearances on the show. She highlights dogs and is an advocate for adption; hosting her own NBC Special “Best In Shelter“.

 

First Impressions Of The 14-Piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clippers

I recently have thought about doing some more of my own pet grooming to save the money and time I spend bringing Dexter to the big box groomer. I figured I would give grooming a try to see if I could do it at home. I even built a grooming table!

With that, I needed clippers to complete the experience. Wow. Searching Amazon for clippers is overwhelming! There are so many brands and price ranges to choose from. I knew that the clippers would be an investment. I was going to spend over $50 or so to have him groomed, so I knew the clippers I purchased would start in that range. If I groom him once, I break even. If I groom him twice, I’m saving money. I also wanted clippers that would last, that were designed for animal fur, and had good reviews.

My Clipper Purchase “Must-Haves”:

  • Investment-grade
  • Reliable
  • Designed for animal fur
  • Good reviews

Clipper Purchase “Nice To Have”:

  • Made In The USA
  • Cordless

I spent several hours reading reviews on various clippers and had it narrowed down to a pair by ConAir or Wahl. I found a chart at the bottom of the page that showed Lhasa Apso/Shih Tzu under the column of the Wahl 9590-210 Corded/Cordless clippers. The model number of the unit shipped to me was 8552, but the picture and the specifications matched exactly to the listing.

dog_grooming_graphic

At the $50 mark they were close to where I expected price-wise, from a very reputable company with a long track record making clippers, designed for animals, AND as a bonus, were Made in the USA. The fine print says they are made in the USA from domestic and imported parts. I’m inclined to think that most of the parts are imported and the kits and/or clippers are assembled here, though I don’t have confirmation either way about the parts origin.

The clippers have over 1200 reviews on Amazon, and four stars, so I think I found my clippers.

I liked the fact that they came as a kit. I had originally put a comb and scissors in my shopping cart but when I realized the kit came with both of those, I removed them. As it appears, I could start grooming right away when they arrived.

This set fit all the requirements, I bought them, and two days later they showed up. Amazon Prime shipping is great.

I made this video of the unboxing when the package arrived.

The Kit includes these pieces:

  • clippers
  • charging cord
  • hook and loop cord wrap
  • blade guard (attach the the blades while in storage)
  • #1 – 1/8″ (3mm) blade comb (red)
  • #2 – 1/4″ (6mm) blade comb (purple)
  • #3 – 3/8″ (10mm) blade comb (blue)
  • #4 – 1/2″ (13mm) blade comb (orange)
  • 5ml vial of blade oil
  • cleaning brush
  • 6″ scissors (total length – 2 3/4″ blade length)
  • 7″ plastic finishing comb
  • rigid storage case
  • instructional DVD
  • also included is an instructional manual
14-piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clipper Kit contents

14-piece Wahl Pro-Series Pet Clipper Kit contents

When I had the clippers in-hand I was able to get a better look at the quality of the product. The star in this kit is the clippers, and they stand out clearly. The construction is solid and they feel study. The body doesn’t feel ergonomically designed, but the clippers are comfortable to hold for the entire grooming session. The dimentions are approximately six inches tall, 1.5 inches deep, and two inches across. They weigh 8.3 ounces.

Preparation of the clippers was simple. They came fully assembled and the only two steps were to charge the clippers for 24 hours before use (by plugging in the included power adapter) and applying a few drops of the included clipper oil between the blades.

While charging, there is not a status light or progress indicator to tell you what state the clippers are in (charging or ready), or how fully charged the battery is. I put the clippers on to charge at 10am the morning before I used them, and unplugged the unit at 10am the following day. The clippers do not have a charging cradle to hold the clippers during charging (the cord goes directly from the wall into the unit). The manual says you will get a minimum of 30 minutes of full-speed clipping from a full charge. During my hour-long session using the clippers I did not notice the blades slowing down or becoming less powerful.

Cleaning the blades after clipping was equally simple. Simply hold the clippers with your thumb pushing the blades away from the top of the unit and press the blades into your other hand. The blades are held solidly onto the unit by a friction fit so no screws or tools are necessary to remove them. Using the included brush, sweep away the sticky fur bits. The small bristles do a great job getting into the tight nooks in the blades. Replace the blade guard and wipe the outside of the unit with a damp cloth.

Removing the blades for cleaning

Press thumb forward on the Wahl 8552 Pro-Series Pet Clipper blades to remove for cleaning

The clippers can be used either cordless or, if the battery drains, you can safely operate the unit by plugging it into the wall. Dexter weighs less than 30 pounds and the amount of time spent clipping him was short, so I can’t comment on the performance while plugged in. The manual does say “Should you need to use the clipper in corded mode when the battery is fully discharged, it is best to charge clipper in “OFF” position for several minutes before use. During use, you may notice a decrease in blade speed. This is perfectly normal. The clipper will still perform adequately in corded mode with a fully discharged battery”.

Speaking of batteries, the rechargeable battery in this unit is user-replaceable. Wahl provides instructions in the manual. The manual states that the battery should last between three to five years before replacement is necessary. The illustration in the manual shows two-AA sized batteries, but I haven’t opened the unit to see a model number or other specifics. There is a local battery dealer in the area and they are usually able to match whatever specifications I need; you may have one locally too.

Two of the other essential parts of the kit are the scissors and the finishing comb.

These pieces are adequate, at best. The scissors were sharp and felt good on my fingers but the quality felt very low. I would use them again but they will be one of the pieces I replace. There are so many scissors to choose from, including all-steel construction and specialty lengths and finishes that are both more durable and higher quality than these.

The next addition to my grooming supply chest are finishing scissors to give a softer edge to groomed fur than the harsh, straight edge that flat scissors use. Additionally, you can add curved scissors to help shape contours especially around the face.

Equally disappointing was the comb. Yes, it is required if you don’t have any grooming supplies at home already, but the included comb is very thin and didn’t stand up to mild fur resistance before bending. I didn’t end up using the comb at all, preferring to use one of my own instead.

The four blade guards are molded to help you cut to a defined length. They are very sturdy and fit solidly onto the blades. I tried to do some shaping around Dexter’s “armpit” and shoulder without the guards and accidentally sheared off patches of fur, leaving some bare spots. The guards are strongly recommended even for experienced groomers so you maintain a consistent length all around the coat, and in my case, the guards served to protect Dexter against unsightly and potentially dangerous cuts from my untrained hand.

The DVD is divided into six sections:

  • Introduction
  • Clipper Maintenance
  • Dog Preparation
  • Tips and Techniques
  • Pet Trims
  • Poodle Pet Trim

The Pet Trim section goes through the technique for all types of dogs, as well as techniques for grooming specific breeds including poodles, Schnauzer, Terriers (Airedale, Irish, Lakeland, Welsh and Wire Fox), and Spaniels (Cockers and Setters). The paper manual included also covers grooming other types of animals including beef cattle and horses.

The Pet Trims section of the DVD (and many more) are on the WahlHomeProducts YouTube channel in this playlist. The videos are somewhat dated, but the techniques are still applicable today. There are also several user-created videos on trimming specific breeds available on YouTube by doing a simple search.

Wahl Pet Trim DVD Screenshot - Grooming A ShihTzu

Wahl Pet Trim DVD Screenshot – Grooming A ShihTzu

In my opinion, the most valuable part of the manual is the section entitled “Wahl’s Guide to Foolproof Animal Clipping“. With any other product, I would have expected basic maintenance and care instructions in the manual, Wahl goes beyond the basics to give you the knowledge how to use your new clippers right away.

The basic steps in Foolproof Animal Clipping are:

  1. Brush the dogs coat.
  2. Bathe the dog. Brush and hair dry after bath to remove tangles.
  3. Acclimate your dog to the clippers.
  4. Follow the illustrated instructions to clip the various regions of the dog.
  5. Blend the short and long sections of dog fur.
  6. Final Clipping. Apply desired cosmetics and finishes (bow, bandanna, etc…)
  7. Clean the clippers.

Wahl has a mail-in service where they will sharpen your blades. There is a voucher printed in the manual for you to complete and return with the blades. They charge a nominal fee (as of Aug 6, 17 that is $6.95 and includes return shipping) and you can order different sets of blades on the same voucher.

This a link to the A4 sized manual, but it is not identical to the one included in the kit.

Overall, I am a huge fan of these clippers. They feel great, the kit included everything I needed to get started grooming my dog. The ancillary products (the scissors, comb, and case) are of decent quality and they serve their purpose, but I will be upgrading them in the future. I was pleasantly surprised by the completeness of the manual. I believe that Wahl has set me up for success with this product and this kit.

Dog grooming table header

I Built A DIY Grooming Table For Small Dogs, And You Can Too! Here’s How

This month I have been looking back and how much it costs to maintain Dexter. He is a great dog, and there is nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

Being a Shih Tzu/Terrier, he requires regular grooming which ends up being the most expensive part of his upkeep. Approximately every six weeks I take him to the big box store for his appointment. This routine there include: a bath, brushing, a cut, nails clipped, teeth brushed, and ears cleaned and plucked. Its quite a process for him, and for me. The people who work there are great, and they always ensure he comes back looking wonderful, but it takes a toll on him. He is in an unfamiliar environment, there are strange dogs coming and going. His breed is ‘alert dog’, so he is constantly on point listening and watching; which makes him come home stressed.

To solve two concerns at once, I though I would try home grooming, first, to save some money, but secondly, to keep him in his own environment, with his pack.

I don’t really have a good place in my house to groom him. Neither the dining room table, the living room coffee table, nor ‘the floor’, seemed like an appropriate place to take scissors to him.

I wasn’t sure where to start, so I did some searching for pre-built tables on Amazon. There are a lot out there! So many features including shelves, non-slip pads, height adjustments, folding or not, the size of the table portion, and how heavy-duty the parts are. It was overwhelming. Also, I don’t need more things in my house. Having a table sitting in the garage or the basement that I will use once every six weeks is a waste of space. Plus, they started around $80.00. At that rate, adding about $50.00 for the cost of clippers, I would need to groom him four times to recoup the cost. I haven’t groomed him once, so I don’t know if I want to commit to four (or more) times!

Then I looked online to see if there are instructions for building your own table. Yes! There are a few good sites with materials required and instructions, but I didn’t want to invest a ton of money into the table. I have never groomed a dog before. Based on the videos I watched, it doesn’t seem too hard, but those could be famous last words. Since I didn’t know if I am going to make this an ongoing thing, I wanted to build a sturdy but inexpensive grooming table that wouldn’t take up much room.

Dexter is about 28 pounds. He is a relatively small dog. He usually fits in the “Medium” category for a walking harness, leash, size of toys, etc… so I knew the table didn’t have to be overly large. Looking at the sizes available on Amazon, and the size of the anti-slip pad I was planning on using, I knew the table would have to be about 24″x36″. I plotted the size of the dog and the table on graphing paper and the fit looked about right.

I realized I had a small, portable workbench in the basement, it is a Black & Decker Workmate “Project Center”. That got my mind going, it has a solid 24″ x 24″ foot print, holes in the surface on the top (I could bolt a larger board to the top as a tabletop), and figure out something for the grooming arm. Using the board bolted to the top would allow me to remove the grooming surface between projects, and re-attach it when necessary. I also wouldn’t need to buy legs, saving on the expense. Voila! A plan was in place!

I needed to come up with the material list of what I would need from the hardware store. I’m a huge fan of Lowe’s. I know whatever I could dream up, they could help me make.

Tools I used to build my small dog grooming table

Tools I used to build my small dog grooming table

Materials I used:

Tools required:

  • saw (I chose a reciprocating saw)
  • drill with 1/4″ bit
  • utility knife
  • crescent wrench for the nuts
  • pen or pencil

Other purchases:

All told, my shopping trip to Lowe’s cost about $30.00 (wood, bolts, and rubber). The rest of the supplies I had at home.

The grooming arm from Amazon cost about $19.00 for a grand out-of-pocket total of $49.00.

One note about the grooming arm. I found instructions here (Youtube video) which I would have eagerly attempted, but when the author started demonstrating drilling holes in the conduit, and using a vice, I knew I didn’t have the setup to do this at my home. Any cost savings of building the arm myself would be lost in purchasing the necessary equipment. While I can understand the value of having a well-stocked shop, it wasn’t what I was trying to accomplish with this.

A note about the plywood. There were several types of wood to choose from. I obviously wanted something sturdy so I went with 1/2 inch oak. It was about $5.00 more expensive than the pine, but it felt much stronger, and I wanted to ensure

The actual construction took less than an hour.

Step One: Cut one foot off the length of the board.

Step Two: Drill the holes used to attach the board to the work bench.

Mark the holes where the tabletop will be joined to the work bench

Mark the holes where the tabletop will be joined to the work bench

Turn over the board and the work bench. Center the workbench on the board and use the pencil to trace around four of the pre-drilled holes in the work bench, marking where the holes will be drilled in the work surface. Drill the holes.

I made sure the board was centered to keep the weight over the legs; improving stability.

IMG_20170729_112345

Centering the work bench on the inverted tabletop

Step Three: Set everything right side up, and cut the truck box mat to fit the grooming surface. The square feet of the mat were enough, but the dimensions didn’t match nicely with the board, so I had to cut two large pieces, and configure two smaller pieces to go at the end. After all the pieces dry fit nicely, apply the spray adhesive to the board and press the mat onto the board within 15 seconds for a solid bond.

Dry fit the anti-slip pieces before gluing them down

Dry fit the anti-slip pieces before gluing them down

My goal was to keep true to the 36″ length. If my grooming goes well, I may upgrade to a real mat designed for grooming; they are designed for 36″ or 48″ lengths. You could opt to cut off the last few inches so you don’t have mis-matched pieces at the end.

Step Four: Feed the bolts up through the bottom of the board and use the utility knife to score the mat; allowing the bolt to pass through. Remove the bolt and insert it from the top (through the mat, the board, the workbench), then add the washer and tighten the nut. Repeat for the remaining holes.

Make sure the bolts are fastened securely

Make sure the bolts are fastened securely

Step Five: Attach the grooming arm. This one bolts on nicely. You can extend the top section to give more height, or remove it and insert the short end into the vertical part to get more coverage across the table. I have done so in this example.

Clamp the grooming arm securely to the work surface. The knob allows you to remove the pole or adjust the height

Clamp the grooming arm securely to the work surface. The knob allows you to remove the pole or adjust the height

Step Six: Add some weight. I put Dexter up on the table and it was sturdy, he wasn’t going to tip it over; but I decided to add some weight across the base to lower the center of gravity, and add some stability. Using the scrap material from Step One, I placed it across the horizontal braces and added the landscaping brick. Another option would be to add something heavier – I had a 40 bag of soil that I could have placed in stead but based on my situation I feel the brick is more than enough.

IMG_20170729_114627

In summary, this table meets my objectives:

  • It doesn’t take up too much room; I can remove the surface and use the workbench between grooming sessions.
  • It was inexpensive. As I mentioned earlier the supplies and arm came in around $49.00. I will also need to buy some clippers, but more on that in another post. Your final cost will depend on what supplies you have at home. The biggest supply expense was the board (which may be readily available to you), and the grooming arm can be built for about $10.00 in conduit (if you have the tools necessary to assemble it).
  • It is safe; the work surface is solid, the base is sturdy and reinforced with the landscaping brick.
Dogs and Dog Products Are The Stars on ABC's Shark Tank

Dogs and Dog Products Swim On ABCs Shark Tank

For millions of Americans, ABC television series Shark Tank series has provided years of entertainment. Whether you tune in to see what new and exciting products are on the market or ‘coming soon to a store near you’, or if you watch just to see how brutally honest the sharks can be; there is sure to be something on each episode to keep you engaged.

Since 2009, the series has featured a panel of investors (namely Daymond John, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Marc Cuban; along with a few guest ‘sharks’) have evaluated business investment opportunities from every-day inventors and small business owners.

Contestants on the show each stand in front of the judges, explain the business they are in or the product they have invented, and give their best ‘elevator pitch’ as to why they deserve to have the well-seasoned ‘sharks’ invest in their business.
Despite giving up some of the ownership, potential deals are worth millions of dollars in potential sales. Even if no deal is to be made, contestants benefit from the wide exposure they receive when the show hits the airwaves.

Most of the products are intended for human use, like the Squatty Potty device that puts your body in a natural position to aid in toiled use; the Scrub Daddy ‘smiling’ sponge that is stiff or soft depending on the level of scrubbing power required, and the ever popular Tipsy Elves known for their pioneering ugly sweaters.

There are, however, several products aimed at our canine (and feline!) friends that have appeared on the show. Each of them has a unique story of growing their business from nothing to something that has the potential to change lives.

Apollo Peak Wine is wine created to ‘bridge the social divide between humans and their pets. The wine is safe and enjoyable for your dog or cat and made from all-natural ingredients.

Their products come in several varieties including ‘The CharDOGnay, The Malbark, The ZinfinTail, The Doggy Mary, Cherry Blossom Pink CharDOGnay, Canine Pawrier Dog Champagne Chicken and Apple Flavor, and Pawrier Champagne Chicken and Honey Flavor. Check out their selection on their website or Amazon.

Another entrant into the Shark Tank is PetPlate, a pet meal delivery service. Similar to services like Blue Apron or Plated. PetPlate will deliver ready-to-serve Vet and Chef designed recipes which have been made from 100% real ingredients. They use only USDA-recognized suppliers and don’t use animal by-products or rendered meats. Their vegetables are natural and full of nutrients and antioxidants.
It is very simple to get started, all that is required is a quick questionnaire about your dog, and how often you would like deliveries, and from then on, a fresh shipment of meals will show up without worry.

PupBox is another subscription-based service which delivers products to your door which are curated for households with a new puppy. Each month, you receive tips, treats, and toys developed specifically for you puppy’s age and characteristics. All treats and chews are made in the USA or Canada.

One of the unique characteristics of this service is the Training and Development cards that come with the box giving you advice on Puppy Proofing hour home, the How To’s Of Crate Training, and training instructions to keep your puppy’s mind active and healthy. Any new puppy parent or owner knows that introducing a puppy into your home can cause stress and anxiety for both the owner and the dog; so having this monthly delivery can help to build the knowledge and provide the tools needed to make this a fun and enjoyable experience for all.

Speaking to treats and food, TurboPup meal bars were created by Kristina Guerrero after she took an outdoor expedition and realized that her canine hiking companion didn’t have more than treats when he needed a full meal. After lots of testing and perseverance, she created a compact bar using Made In America ingredients. The bars provide the vitamins, minerals, and omega-3s to sustain your dog. They can be fed in place of traditional meals, and are not intended to be treats. Visit their website here or check out the bars on Amazon.

TurboPup recently accepted an offer from ‘shark’ Damyond John and now they are in PetSmart stores across Canada and the United States. The day after the original Shark Tank broadcast, their sales increased by $30,000!

Do you think you have what it takes to face the Sharks in person? Do you have a stellar business that just needs some money and connections to take it to the next level? Check out the requirements and application process here!

If facing the Sharks isn’t your thing, check out these books written by the Sharks themselves to help you sharpen your business smarts: