Dog stuff

My utility vehicle, yes even though it's tough, it is very cool.  ;)

Gear - implements, tools, or apparatus, especially as used for a particular occupation or activity.

Gear, I love it.  I love dog gear and I have to admit that it is one of my weaknesses.  Not just any gear though; I mean real gear, the stuff that lasts, tough, utility type gear.  I am not one for the fancy, schmancy stuff that you can get for your dogs, nope.  I like it to be of high quality, give me quality and rugged over fancy any day.

When I venture on a very rare occasion into one of the big box type pet stores, and I mean rare, I take a look around to see what is what.   I am curious as to what they sell, how much everything costs and what people are buying.  The first thing I see is a big bin of bulk dog treats.  The bulk presentation is to appeal to your sense of "good value."  "Look they are bulk, they must be cheap?"  Hmmmmmm.  Something left out in huge bins for so long isn't something you want to give to your dog.  Next.

So then I wander down the isle; I'm not shopping, I'm researching.  Almost every item in the store is made for us; the dog owner, not the dog we are shopping for.  I pull a big bed off the shelf and push my hand into the stuffing to see the comfort level.  My hand hits the floor almost immediately, its filled with cheap fluff but boy the red background with black paw prints sure caught my attention.

From there I move onto food......................................hmmmmmmm, let's not go here now.  This will end up being all about food.  Let's just ask the question, "is there anything resembling real food in these stores?"

Okay onto leashes and collars etc.  So many colors, so many types; how could you possibly choose?  It's all laid out for those who want a wardrobe of leashes and collars for their dogs.  Very tempting all those fancy color combinations.  My requirements for a leash are that it be long enough to allow my dog to wander yet thin enough to roll up in my hand.  It must be strong and of course durable.

I like things that make living with dogs easier.  Gear that catches my attention is useful.  There is a lot of it out there but sometimes you have to really look.  I am always on the search for something new and great.  Fancy patterns, bobbles and eye candy for humans does not catch my eye.  What is of interest to me as far as dog gear is something that is innovative; made for the human/canine team.  I have over the years blogged about some great stuff for dogs and I will continue to search.

Like I said there is a lot of it out there; really great stuff just waiting to be discovered.  But as I wade through much of the canine "stuff" it is just that "stuff."  I want gear, the real "stuff" that is useful.  I know that many of you love the other fancy stuff and there is lots of that out there too.  The difference is that there is a huge range of "stuff" for our dogs.  There is the cheap, useless, money wasting stuff.  The stuff up a notch from that bottom line stuff and then there is the stuff that is a little higher quality; the stuff that might hold up a year or two.  Then you get into the much better stuff that is made to last but still designed for the human and maybe the canine.  Finally at the top of the pile of stuff you hit the gear, the stuff made for the human/canine team; that is what I'm looking for.

I am a utility type person; I drive an Xterra because I don't want to worry about dirt in my car.  I don't want to care about being careful with my dog "stuff," I want to use it and have fun.  I keep several bags in the back of my Xterra filled with dog stuff that I might need while we are out.  No my stuff is not fancy but neither am I and my dogs?  Most definitely not fancy.  But if you show me some gear, real gear for me and my dogs; then you will have my undivided attention.  One of my biggest weaknesses?  A new carabiner.    Got gear?