Today, December 13th I celebrate Kona's 8th birthday. It's funny, when I got Kona as a puppy I was obsessed with the German Shepherd Dog breed because of their intelligence, their loyalty, and their drive. Today those attributes still fascinate me, however it's her quiet presence and thoughtful and deliberate affection that has made me love her so much. The seed for Dublin Dog Co was planted on an idle Saturday morning while driving to a local dog park. That same drive and determination catapulted Kona out of the backseat of our SUV, through the slightly open window, and after a very confused squirrel chomping on some nuts next to the stop sign where we had just rolled up. Luckily Kona was not seriously hurt, and the squirrel, well lets just say he left more than his nuts on the ground when he sprung up the tree. That day began my quest down a path that took over 5 years to develop a device to keep her from jumping out or falling out of a car window. Today I own a utility patent on a device called "The Window Shepherd". Yet it was through that process that I began to think about dogs, my own and others, products, and this new found lifestyle of hiking, biking, and spending more and more time outdoors with my dog(s) and wife. Soon, the aha moment came for the Dublin Dog Co. back in 2006 and we launched in 2007. The rest is history as they say. If it wasn't for that dog, and that day, my life would never have taken the turn that it did. Go figure.
Did you know that in the US, 78% of us dog owners will purchase gifts for our dogs, with 53% of those gifts bought at Christmas time. If you do the math based on the average spend, we pony up close to $180 Million a year on gifts for our best friends. So if that cash is burning a hole in your pocket, here are some ideas from the good folks at Modern Dog. Needless to say, we always think it's a good time to buy a Dublin Dog item, but hey, that's just us!
Dublin Dog Co is offering up over $375 worth of prizes for the best photo and kooky caption to be submitted by their "fans" on Facebook. Enter today at the Dublin Dog Co Kooky Caption Card Contest for your chance to win. Get your friends and family to support your effort by voting for you once a day, every day until December 15th at 11:00pm EST. Special thanks to the great folks at Mountain Khakis for their support and donation of over $150 worth of prizes. Like them on FB to show your support.
I always get excited this time of year as the weather starts to turn, the mornings get a little more crisp, and the trails seem to be calling my name. Well if you're anything like me, you want and need a good trail runner to keep you and your furry friend on the right track. Check out this little ditty from Saucony, the ProGrid Peregrine (shown in women's). Chosen as the editors choice award from Runners World, you can't go wrong whether you're an avid runner or just want to tromp along the trail.
Ever wondered what it takes to launch a new product? Ever thought you had a great idea but just didn't know where to turn next? In this video, Jason Watson the owner of Dublin Dog Co, explains 6 critical steps to launching a product.
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My worst nightmare had come true. It was 7:00pm on Tuesday evening when I went to feed the dogs, Jake our lab, and Kona, our German Shepherd. Jake who never misses a meal was Jonny on the spot, or Jake on the Spot as it were. However Kona is not food motivated and prefers to keep guard over the backyard and all things moving, living or not. However after repeated calls, no Kona. Turns out, my two young children 2 & 4 had been playing with Kona in the front yard around 5:00 and had then come inside, just without Kona. By the time I got the full story after returning from work, Kona had been missing for 2 hours. Heaven help me.
I spent 2 hours on a bike, another hour on foot, and a half a tank of gas in the truck until 2:00am. No sight of dear Kona, the muse for the creation of Dublin Dog Co, my private confidant and partner in crime. The morning began with more calls to Animal Care and Control, vet hospitals, and local community websites. NOTHING. After having passed out 150 flyers to neighboring homes I was about to crash at 5:00pm Wednesday. Then it came....a phone call and a jovial yet slightly trepidatious voice saying, “I just saw your flyer on my door and I think I have your dog”. Turns out a woman had seen Kona in front of her house and her young black lab went to play with Kona. She brought Kona inside and apparently kept her through the evening and then went to work on Wednesday before seeing my flyer when she returned home. Note, the caller lived less than 10 houses away down a side street.
The moral of the story, a simple dog tag would have solved that problem within the first 2 minutes of finding her. As the owner of a dog products company, my very own dogs have not had tags on simply because I change out their collars all the time. My rational was that they are always with me, be it at work or at home. Foolish thought! Accidents are just that, accidents and you need to be prepared for when they arise. So with about 5,000 dog tags just a few steps away in our warehouse, Jake and Kona will be getting some new swag today for their collars. Hell, I should be forced to wear one for the next two weeks that says “Foolish Owner”. Don’t be foolish, get your dog some sort of Pet ID, because even though our dogs are micro-chipped, this well intentioned person never called Animal Control to check. My phone number on a piece of metal would have fixed that. GET THE DIGITS ON THE DOG.
It's early, there's a nip in the air and your bed feels like one giant Snuggie, keeping you snug as a bug in a rug. However one four-legged family member keeps reminding you in a no uncertain terms that nature calls, and it's time to rise and shine sleepyhead. However, don't let the cold morning air discourage you from getting out there. Check out this article from Fit Sugar with some of the hottest trends (get it, keeps you warm..nevermind go back to bed) in keeping those ears toasty when taking that morning jaunt.
At the Dublin Dog Co., we're all about getting out there and being active with your dog(s). But hey, we understand that sometimes work obligations, kids, errands, etc get in the way of the hike, the game of fetch, or the run around the neighborhood. Well just take a page from our parents when we were young, "just go outside and play. Use your imagination, and get your finger out of your nose", something like that anyways. Well this little guy has done just that. Lacking an active participant, this dog finds a clever way to enjoy a game of fetch old school style. There's no Chuckit, no auto-feeding, ball-dispensing gadget, just a dog, a ball and a willingness to make it work. Cheers to having fun....now go PLAY!
This is a heartwarming ending to what has become a tragic story that is being told, day after day in cities across the United States. 5-year old Beagle mix "Daniel" was set to be put to sleep via a gas chamber on Oct. 3rd at an Alabama shelter along with 18 other dogs. However, after the procedure was completed, one tail-wagging Daniel came waltzing out of the chamber as if nothing had happened. What's more incredible is that after tests and evaluations by local veterinarians, Daniel received a clean bill of health. Daniel received his name from his foster family, who drew inspiration from the biblical story of Daniel who walked out of the lion's den unscathed.
Unfortunately, miracles like these don't happen as often as we would hope. According to the Human Society of America, over 4 million dogs and cats will be euthanized this year, that's one animal every 8 seconds. Please consider adoption when looking for your next pet, so great little guys like Daniel won't need a miracle to keep them alive. Check out www.petfinder.com as well for a possible love connection in your area.