The Kurgo Wander Hammock Seat Cover

Ladies and Gents! Do you have a dirty, messy dog that you love to no end? Do you have a car you would like to keep clean even after you take Fido out for a good run in the park? Look no further! I present to you the Handy Dandy Kurgo Wander Hammock Seat Cover.

Kurgo Wander Hammock Car Seat Cover

Kurgo Wander Hammock Car Seat Cover

Look, I am the first to admit, something like this seems unnecessary, downright gimmicky. Then, I adopted a dog that gets car sick every time she sits in the car. I’ve used everything I thought would help; blankets, trash bags and bibs! Just so that Ellie’s excessive amount of drool and sometimes vomit, don’t land on the back seats. I have to travel with her, sometimes to the vet or to the park or simply to visit someone. Having to pull out blankets and trash bags, keeping them from shifting around or making sure the dog is resting on them while she is in the car, its a challenge!

I decided to look into a car seat cover after I saw a friend using one for her dogs. One day while browsing the sale items at an REI, I saw the Kurgo Wander Hammock Seat Cover for $49.50. I decided to pick it up, no need to pay for shipping if I’m standing right there! If you decide on a car cover, do your homework, find the best price. I was at Ross recently and I saw three different car seat covers for half the price of what I paid. Hint. Hint.

I thought it was expensive for what I still considered a luxury at that point. But I love it and it’s been re-categorized to necessity based on its ease of use and cleaning.

Argos posing, waiting for us to go somewhere.

Argos posing, waiting for us to go somewhere.

This is what it has:

  • Six attachment points to keep hammock in place. Ellie can’t move it around anymore with her frantic movements to be let out of the car.
  • Can be used as a hammock or a seat cover. This means you can leave the cover in place even if you have other passengers.
  • Waterproof, washable and stain resistant. Need I explain more? Let me tell you something; when there is vomit, accidental trekking of mud and/or poo (you know it happens) …you want to clean it out as best you can and this thing makes it really easy for that to happen.
  • Includes utility bag for leash, toys and water. This is a nice bonus and it came with a water bottle. I bought a pet water bottle so I don’t need the one included, still nice though.
  • Measures 53 by 54 inches.
  • Easy seatbelt and child latch access via Velcro openings. I want the dogs to sit on the cover and I still want to be able to tie them down with the seatbelt. Again, if there are other people in the car, no need to move the cover so they can buckle up.

All in all, I find it very useful and if you are looking for something to protect your back seat from your dirty  but active and adventurous dogs, this may be a good option for you.

 

The Handy Dandy Steam Mop

I bought the Hoover Twin Tank Disinfecting Steam Mop a week after Ellie came home this past Summer. I got the idea one day when I dropped off Argos at Doggy Day Care and I saw the staff cleaning up after the puppies with a steam mop. Ellie was peeing and pooping everywhere sooner than I could clean it up.

steam mop

Try as well and as fast I could, I could only really sweep and mop thoroughly about once a week. It’s a hassle! I have both tile and hardwood floors. We don’t wear shoes in the house on account of Chris being Asian and he really pushed for me to accept and adopt the no-shoe-policy. And so I deemed it unnecessary to clean the floors more than once a week. But when you have a shit machine, you can’t help but wonder if you might just be leaving traces on the floor and picking them up with your socks, and taking them on to your couch and on to your bed. Ugh!

So we bought us a steam mop. This much I like; no more buckets of water and cleaning solution being swung out of the bathtub and scooted around the apartment. The worst part was squeezing the yucky water out of the mop. I no longer have to do it and boy does it save me time. I also love that the head swivels and is easier to maneuver than a standard vacuum cleaner.

It claims to use steam to kill bacteria (MRSA, Salmonella, Staph). The only information available in this regard is that it is not pressurized steam. None pressurized steam, created by boiling water reaches a temperature of 212 degrees Fahrenheit. An autoclave (machines used to sterilize surgical instrument) have to reach this temperature and maintain it for a good 30 minutes. How can a mop that heats up in a minute have that same power to sterilize and kill such bacteria? I call bullshit. But what do I know?

There is also another tiny draw back. It doesn’t pick  up dirt as well as a regular mop does. This means I have to go over the floors twice to get the dirt off.

I do have to say, although I have to go over the floors twice to rid them of grit, this handy dandy mop still manages to save me quite a bit of time cleaning the floors.

Ellie doesn’t poop and pee in the apartment anymore, but I still use the mop because it saves me time cleaning. And that’s the only reason I still have it.

Do you have the low down and how these things really work? Or do you also suspect hocus pocus?

Ellie on Wellness CORE Puppy Grain Free Formula

Argos's food on the left, Ellie on the right. Primitive set up, definitely not user friendly but it works and these plastic organizers were on hand. I use the plastic cups that cup with the jugs of detergent because they measure out exactly a 1/2 cup of kibble.

Argos’s food on the left, Ellie’s on the right. Primitive set up, definitely not user friendly but it works and these plastic organizers were on hand. I use the plastic cups (unused) that come with the bottles of detergent because they measure out exactly a 1/2 cup of kibble.

Ellie is on  her last of Wellness  CORE Puppy Formula and I don’t think I’ll be re-ordering this one again. She would only consume her kibble if it was heavily covered in Evanger’s ground chicken or duck. This Summer, when she first came home, I fed her Earthborn Puppy Vantage because I had a positive experience with this brand and she certainly liked it very much with or without Evanger’s.

Her adoption was a bit sudden. During the Summer on a Friday morning, I had only one dog and by Sunday I had two.  Although Chris and I had been searching for the second dog, we weren’t really prepared with puppy food, an extra bed or a collar and leash. I quickly had to make a choice because the new dog had to eat and I didn’t have any puppy food to feed her. I figured if Earthborn was good enough for Argos it must be good enough for Ellie.

Then I discovered Dog Food Advisor and I loved the way they broke down the ingredients for what must be all the brands of dog food in the market. As I learned quite a great deal about controversial ingredients such as tomato pomace, canola oil and garlic, I found out that Puppy Vantage was only rated 4 stars out of 5 based on its ingredients, their percentages of each and meat content. I was very happy to find out that Earthborn Primitive Natural, what Argos eats, was rated 5 stars and was “Enthusiastically Recommended”. I understand Dog Food Advisor is simply a guide to dog food out there but I didn’t like the 4 star rating, knowing that there are a lot more brands/recipes out there that might be better options.

So many options! I am trying to decided between trying Merrick’s Classic Puppy or something else from their grain free line. Merrick has always been a brand I liked but when Argos was a puppy he refused to eat it and back then, they didn’t have the grain free recipes they have now. The last time Ellie visited the vet, he just asked that I slowly introduce whatever new kibble I decide to try so as not to upset her stomach. We’ll see what she thinks of my next choice. I plan on contacting Merrick first to see if they have samples.

Ellie’s Very Busy Day

EVERYONE says their dog is the BEST dog. I say that sometimes. Dogs get into trouble and sometimes its right under your nose the second you look away. Take today for example, I usually have the dogs with me wherever I am in the apartment. When I shower, they come in the bathroom with me so that any trouble they can get into is minimized. Ellie, however, has been getting into the habit of eating toilet paper. Yep, used toilet paper. I’ve been trying to correct the behavior by saying no and showing her to her toy box. Instead she proceeds to sitting in the toy box. I really don’t know what I was thinking when I bought the darn thing. It’s too big and they only have three toys…

I know that this interest in chewing things is most likely boredom so I am also addressing that by walking her a minimum of 2.5 miles. I’ve also scheduled a 30 minute training session every night before bed. I am still working on teaching her basic commands like sit, down, jump, and twirl. Unlike Argos, she finds the Kong incredibly diverting so I stuff it with goodies every now and then and toss in her crate at night. This has been working but unfortunately today she only got to walk around the block and the day before their feeding schedule was off by two hours because I got caught up doing something else.

And this is what happened.

IMG_5411

Ellie Dines on TP

IMG_1163

Ellie pooted

They are not the best dogs in the world (the assumption being that “Best Dogs” are superbly behaved, wash their own bowls and open doors for you) but they are my dogs and I love that they are imperfect.

Picky Eater Dog

I had been deboning a chicken, NEVER thought Argos would jump that high to try to score some food. Poor fella was hungry.

I had been deboning a chicken, NEVER thought Argos would jump that high to try to score some food. Poor fella was hungry.

Argos always finds a way to let me know how he feels about his dinner options. When I first adopted him, he simply didn’t want to eat. As a clueless newbie and working stiff, I went to my local pet store chain and I asked them to help me out. We went from Science Diet to Wellness Complete Health Puppy Formula and he approached both of these with equal apathetic enthusiasm. A close friend recommended I try Merrick Puppy Plate and Argos just didn’t care. I’ve mentioned this before but I really think that Wellness Core Grainfree line and Merrick’s Grainfree Recipes are fairly new revamps to their dog food lines. They certainly weren’t available in 2010 when I went through this whole ordeal.

In my clueless attempts to both get my dog to eat and not spend my savings on dog food trial and error, I tried cooking food for him, I tried adding homemade chicken broth to kibble, adding tuna juice and my attempts would be rewarded with exactly 1.5 days of curious nibbling.

I got a list of premium dog food brands and I started doing my own research on these. All I knew back then, courtesy of my vet, was that I shouldn’t feed supermarket brands to Argos. I didn’t know why and I didn’t know what made other brands ‘premium’. I learned quite a bit about dog food and I began to understand the difference between them. The other problem still persisted, how can I try some of these brands without spending the 10-15 bucks on 5 lb bags that Argos is most likely not going to eat?

So I began emailing all of the brands on my list with my particular dilemma and asking them if they could supply me with sample packs for Argos to try. To my very happy surprise, most of them did, others sent me coupons for sample packs, others said just buy our 3-5lb bag and if he doesn’t like it, return it, while other companies said nothing. I’ve placed some of the responses I got from my emails below.

Fromm, Natural Balance, Earthborn, Avoderm, and Halo were the only ones to send me free samples and these were the ones that I tried first. For Argos, Earthborn was the winner. They sent me the Earthborn Holistic Primitive Natural recipe which is grainfree and he loved it. Fromm came in second with their grainfree recipes as well. I noticed that Argos’s enthusiasm started to wane after a couple of weeks on Earthborn so I decided to redeem a couple of coupons for free cans of Evangers Grain Free Game Meats. I mixed his grainfree kibble with Evangers grainfree chicken and he hasn’t had a problem with his food yet.

It has been about two and half years since I did this, I’ve switched Argos’s kibble to other brands and for some reason he prefers the grainfree recipes. Recently I walked over to my local pet feed store and they gave me some free samples of other grainfree recipes for him to try. I imagine for those of you out there with picky eaters you may be able to explore other brands and recipes this way.

I’ve also recently discovered dogfoodadvisor.com and boy has that been handy in determining what brands I want to try next and what kinds of puppy formulas I want to give my puppy Ellie. It’s a very informative site.

Having a picky eater is difficult and worrisome but I was able to help my dog find something he actually wanted to eat. I never truly realized how stressful it had been until I adopted my second dog Ellie and I gave such a huge sigh of relief when she ate her food without any fuss.

Til next time.

EMAILS

From Merrick:

Hello Norma,

Thank you for taking the time to email us. Unfortunately we do not have samples available.  We do have trial size bags available through retail stores.  Check with your retailer for the availability of these.

If for some reason your local retail stores does not carry the trial size bags.  You can purchase a small bag of food risk free.  All of our products are 100% guaranteed, so if for some reason your pet does not like the product hang on to your receipt and you are welcome to exchange for another flavor or a refund.

If there is anything else I can do for you, please let me know.

Thank you,

Lesa

Merrick Pet Care

 

From Castor & Pollux:

Hi Norma,

Thank you for your interest in our products. Although we do not have samples, we do sell our food in 5.5 pound bags, which is a very cost effective way to try our product. In addition, we offer a satisfaction guarantee. If you aren’t satisfied with our food, you can call our customer service and they will issue you a full refund. We think that Argos will love it!

Best,

Jaime

 

From Evangers Dog Food:

Norma,

We are in business because of picky eaters.  I am sending you some coupons for free cans and for our dry food.  You can go to a local independent store and redeem the coupons and try our fine foods.

 Sincerely,

 Brett

Evanger’s Pet Food

From Halo Pets:

Dear Pet Lover,

 Thanks for visiting our website and caring for the ones we love naturally! If you have not already signed up to receive our FREE Newsletter, please feel free to do so at www.Halopets.com, to receive the most current coupons and promotions we are offering. You can also search for stores in your area using this link, www.halopets.com/locator/. It’s always recommended to call the store prior to visiting to ensure they have the product you are looking for in stock.

Thank you for your sample request. They should arrive within a week.

Please feel free to e-mail or call us at 800-426-4256 anytime with questions. Wishing you and your pets GREAT health!

Halo, Purely for Pets

800.426.4256