Archive for December 9, 2008

No Dogs Allowed?

Bothered by those pesky “no dogs allowed” signs found so much more frequently today? Here’s a solution we found from the June 1939 issue of Popular Science (article text reprinted below photos):


Signs reading “No Dogs Allowed” man nothing to Miss Jeanne Lorraine, of New York City, since she taught her twelve-year-old pet toy collie, Jiggs, to drape himself around her neck and masquerade as a fur piece. The trick first worked on a clerk at a residential hotel that barred pets and Miss Lorraine has been using it ever since to take her dog through subways, past customs officers, on railroad coaches, and into other places where canine companions are not welcomed.  To heighten the illusion, Jigg’s mistress selects costumes in shades of brown that blend with her dog’s coloring, and then attaches a “pinned” flower corsage to the dog’s fur by means of an elastic band around his belly. The animal them promptly relaxes every muscle so that he can be draped gracefully around his owner’s neck, like a fox, mink, or marten skin. For periods of up to one hour at a stretch, Jiggs will hardly bat an eye, his only movement being an occasional tail-wag, which his mistress covers up with a nonchalant stroke of her hand.

Of course, having dog that is not only small and well-trained — but also somewhat elderly and/or sedate is of huge benefit when perpetuating such subterfuge.  This is not a trick I’d have ever gotten away with when I had the Leonbergers…

December 9, 2008 at 9:07 pm 6 comments

Phthalate Update – Updated

After our post about phthalates in toys we decided to dig a bit deeper and check into some of our dogs’ favorite toys.  We sent notes via email to Plant Dog, Kong and Nylabone and asked them if there were phthalates in their products.


Kudos to the friendly folks at Planet Dog!  After sending them a post on Sunday night – I heard back from them first thing Monday morning.  Here’s their response:

Yes, Orbee-tuff has been phthalate free all along for the ten yeqrs we’ve made it.  Phthalates are used in the softening process to make different types of vinyls and soft plastics, but with our Thermo Plastic Elastomer (the type of plastic orbee-tuff is classified as) we only use natural white olefinic oil to soften it which is similar to baby oil.  Orbee bones are great for teething babies even and we’ve had some customer who have been putting them in the freezer and giving them to their kids because it’s been safer than many mass-market products for them.

So — it’s official.  Planet Dog toys are phthalate-free and safe for our two- and four-legged loved ones to chew on.

My posts to Kong and Nylabone were apparently mistaken for spam and shuttled off into oblivion. Not being content to sit around on my butt and wait for answers – I sat on my butt and hammered on google’s search engines until they gave up a few answers.


The folks at Nylabone prepared a press releaseleast month regarding phthalates in their products. A press release that I managed to miss yesterday while I surfed all over their site (friendly note to any of the nice folks at Nylabone who read this – it might be a good idea to have a link to news like this on the main page of your website). And that press release provides more good news:

NEPTUNE CITY, NJ – Recently the press has reported concerns about the presence of Phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA) in consumer products. Nylabone Chews and Toys DO NOT contain Phthalates or BPA, and they never have. Typically, BPA is found in polycarbonate plastic, including some water bottles and baby bottles, and in epoxy resins, which are used to line metal products including some canned foods. Phthalates are mainly used as plasticizers (substances added to plastics to increase their flexibility). You can continue to use all Nylabone Products with confidence.

I don’t have any definitive information from Kong — yet. But I will say that having met some of the folks from the Kong Company and knowing a little bit about how they do business I doubt that there are phthalates in their products either.

Since I’m still waiting for information from Kong, I decided to add Triple Crown’s Everlasting Treat toys to my list and check on those as well.  Will let you know as soon as I get the low down on these products.

UPDATE Dec. 9, 2008 Noon CST:


This morning we heard back from representatives of Kong and Triple Crown.  Their toys are also phthalate-free!  So, our little bit of research shows that four of the most popular chew toys made for dogs are made without phthalates.  But – do not assume that all dog toys are made to the same levels of care used by these four companies.  Take a trip down the aisles of many pet supply or department stores and you’ll see a wide range of soft toys that appear to be designed for chewing.  Look closely and you’ll find that many of them (especially those enticingly cheap ones) are made in China or other countries that have even less laws regulating the manufacture of pet toys than we do. Caveat emptor — is that two dollar squeaky toy worth the potential risks of choking, tongue entrapment and chronic toxicity it might pose to your pet?

December 9, 2008 at 3:04 am 2 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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December 2008