Posts tagged “dog”

Hey what’s with all those shots of dog butts?

CatCam was making the rounds recently. It’s nice to see this finally realized as a product, even with a good measure of humor. At my old firm, we delivered a concept that was very similar to this. It seemed like a “good” idea but in hindsight it’s not clear how it really connected to any of our research or was appropriate for the client. Ah, youth.

The pet-mounted camera would randomly snap pics throughout the day, when you got to the images, you’d see what s/he had been up to while you were at work. We called it Dog Day Afternoon and we were quite proud of that.

I’ve been holding this post til I dug up the drawing I did (something I was quite proud of, with my lack of training in illustration) but it’s not in my archives. But seeing that Nicolas Nova blogged about another pet camera (Wonderful Shot) I guess this will have to do.

Brand Extension

I saw this sign earlier this week in Colorado Springs. Turns out that yes, it’s a real place.

What are the two things people don’t like doing on a regular basis? Why, washing their Vehicle and washing their Dog of course. Both are time consuming and messy. So I created a professional, clean and fun environment where you can bring your vehicle, dog or both and get them clean.


Life’s Abundance or Nature’s Variety?

The tainted pet food story gets worse.

Menu Foods told the FDA it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20. It began new tests on Feb. 27. During those tests, the company fed its product to 40 to 50 dogs and cats, and seven of those animals died.

I think the horror this induces is a clue to our naivete about how stuff is made. This story brings up the recent food-supply fears (i.e., spinach, green onions), with the added pathos of beloved pets innocently suffering and dying. So what does the company do when safety concerns are raised? Well, nothing for SEVEN DAYS (while people around North America are feeding their beloved pets), and then takes some of their own animals (perhaps not-so-beloved) and gives the food to them and then waits to see how many die (meanwhile, people around North America continue to feed their beloved pets this stuff).

It’s easy (see?) to cast the company as callous and heartless and incompetent – and maybe they are; the twist of giving potentially deadly food to more animals as a way to test its safety is wrenching. But then one has to ask, how do they normally product test their pet food before putting it on the market? Presumably by feeding it to animals and seeing what happens.

Yet another backstage aspect of product development that we don’t know and don’t want to know. Every time you scoop some Kibbles-n-Grits Extra Chunky Sauce into Rover’s bowl, how many other animals died to ensure that he’s not going to?

mystery solved?

I wrote previously about a weird experience with the door, the dog, and the doorbell. And a strange bone.

Today while walking the dog, a guy a few doors down said that our dog was wandering around the street the other day, and came up to him, so he brought him back to our house, rang the doorbell, but the door was wide open so he put him inside and closed the door.

Mystery solved, I guess. Except how did the dog get out? Only explanation is that I must not have closed it tightly and it swung open (or the dog nosed it open). I’m having a hard time grasping that I was so lame, but it must have been.

Very nice of the neighbor, very logical explanation to a situation where I couldn’t figure out any likely possibility.

ScatShovel begets ScatManual

Strange New Products blogged about ScatShovel, yet another pooper scooper. But what is really amusing are the brand extensions on their site. The obvious ScatRake, and ScatBags, and the not-so-obvious ScatManual

written primarily to assist young people ages 10 – 15 in establishing and building a dog waste removal business. Although it is geared to a specific age group, all of the information in this manual and material included in its appendices can be used by anyone regardless of age to start a profitable business. This manual is a compilation of lessons learned through trial and error by two young entrepreneurs over the course of three years. The ScatManual describes a business model that works. The manual describes all aspects of the business model, from marketing to accounting and all the important details in between. Click here to view the Table of Contents.

With a minimum investment in time and money, your young entrepreneur will learn valuable lessons that go beyond the money he/she will earn.

Right. Because there’s a real demand for such a service, and poop cleanup is really the kind of thing that young people are looking to go into (when the paper routes, mall jobs, fast food, babysitting and lawn mowing gigs are all taken), but are stymied by the lack of information available.

I guess if Zingerman’s deli can spin off ZingTrain, the scat people can do it too? At least they didn’t call it ScatTrain.

Happy Birthday, Brody

It’s now about one year since we adopted Brody, a golden retriever. Not quite an anniversary, not quite a birthday, but worth reflecting upon. It continues to be an interesting journey and learning process, but most relevant to this blog perhaps is how fascinating it is to observe and interact with a creature who operates without any social norms or cultural rules, whereas we do and say almost nothing without hearkening back to those same constraints.

I find myself constantly observing him and remarking to myself with surprise or bemusement how he can do something that I want desperately to attach human meaning to. His body language, his lack of body language, his sighs and facial expressions, what and where he licks or sniffs, his reactions to stimuli (other dogs, strangers, cats, alpacas, trucks, food, water), on and on – all are driven by a completely different set of motivations, yet like most dog owners, I do nothing but project upon him.

It’s a reminder to me as an ethnographer that so much of what we do ourselves, or what I observe in others, is constructed through the rules of our culture.

(and sure, there are millions of PhD theses about nature vs. nurture, about sociobiology, about culture-in-animals, no doubt, but really, I hope you take my point for what it is).

Roll Over Beethoven

Roll Over Beethoven is a collection of classical music for pets and the people who love them.

This compact disc of classical music includes selections to inspire pets, as well as ones that truly were inspired by a composer’s love for a pet. “Initially, it may sound a little unconventional, but a lot of thought went into creating a classical music CD for pets,” Greg Davis, WRR general manager said. First, people love their pets and they are continually looking for ways to improve their pets’ quality of life. What better way than with classical music! Secondly, research shows that animals, especially dogs, respond very favorably to classical music. According to a study conducted by Queen’s University in Belfast, dogs that listen to classical music are more relaxed and well behaved than when listening to other types of music, such as heavy metal.

Many first-hand accounts from our listeners support this research. We hear from folks who put their radio on WRR when they take their pet to the vet, or they leave WRR on while they’re at work or away from home. One listener said that her tortoise stands in front of the stereo speaker as long as WRR is on. Another important factor in releasing a pet CD is the opportunity to help two outstanding organizations that work tirelessly to assist abandoned and/or abused animals. A portion of CD proceeds will be donated to Operation Kindness and SPCA of Texas.


1. Beethoven – Symphony No. 7: Presto
2. Haydn – Piano Concerto No. 4: Adagio cantabile
3. Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No. 6: Finale
4. Mozart – Violin Concerto No. 3: Adagio
5. Dvorak – Legend: Allegro giusto
6. Debussy – The Girl with the Flaxen Hair
7. Toch – Spiel: Idyll
8. Copland – Rodeo: Hoe-down
9. Elgar – Enigma Variations: Variation 11
10. Tucker – Whiskers, a Kitty Walk* (World Premiere Recording)
11. Respighi – The Birds: Prelude
12. Satie – Preludes flasques: Flabby Preludes
13-14. Faure – Dolly Suite: Mi-a-ou and Kitty Valse
15. Hovhaness – Piano Sonata: Fred the Cat
16. Gershwin – Walking the Dog (Theme from WRR’s “A Night on the Town”)
17-19. Saint-Saens – Carnival of the Animals: The Birds, The Aquarium and Finale

(thanks Amy)


I’ve finally found the website for THE DOG – the iconic fisheye-lens big-nosed pooch brand that is Big In Japan. It’s the kind of thing that is damn hard to find in Google when the name is “The Dog” – believe me, I’ve tried.

Blogging it here so I’ll know where it is. Now you do too!


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