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I saw Mutt Gear’s Vir-Chew-Ly Indestructible Leash on Dog Milk the other day, and I liked it so much that I’m not only going to repost it here, but I’m considering ordering a couple for Ming and The Dizz. The Vir-Chew-Ly Indestructible Leash, as you might guess from the name, is fiercely durable, made from flexible airplane cables that boast a tensile strength of 900 pounds, making them (virtually) immune to chewing, breaking, and tangles. These leashes are seriously not joking around.

The Vir-Chew-Ly Indestructible Leash feature a detachable, swiveling comfort-grip handle (with a breaking limit of 3000 pounds) and comes in a variety of lengths and strengths, including a handy traffic lead (pictured above).

So, what do you think? Pink for Dottie, and yellow for Ming?

You can learn more about the Vir-Chew-Ly Indestructible Leash and place an order at the Mutt Gear web site.

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Have I told you about how my dogs can’t fetch? Yeah, they suck at it. I guess Huskies aren’t really into it. Dottie kind of gets it — enough to bust in on fetch games at the park and make a total jerk of herself. We do a lot of apologizing. Mingus apparently couldn’t care less about the whole activity.

Maybe they just need some practice? These soft bones from Crate & Barrel would be great for practicing fetch inside, where distractions (and potential damage) would be minimal.

Fetch them at Crate & Barrel.

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Mingus is named for jazz musician Charles Mingus. Charles Mingus was incredibly cool. Mingus the dog is, sadly, not.

Know who else was cool? Johnny Cash and John Lennon. As humans and, apparently, as dogs.

You can check out more of illustrator Oliver Lake’s musical dogs on his site and in his Etsy shop.

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Hmm. Any ideas as to what it is?

Get your mind out of the gutter.

It’s the Roxxter, the first ever toy from Dublin Dog.

The Roxxter is made from recyclable materials, has a fresh vanilla scent, and floats, bounces, and rolls. That opening in the top can hold treats or kibble, and the Roxxter’s counter-weighted roll can keep a dog’s little brain entertained for hours — or, in Mingus’ case, seconds, until he just decides to just cut to the chase and bite it in half. (And in case you’ve got a Mingus on your hands, Dublin Dog will provide a one-time replacement of the Roxxter if you’re not completely satisfied.)

You can fetch the Roxxter from Dublin Dog.

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We’ve had an interesting week here at Chez Phetched. First, Dottie failed to clear a small brick garden wall on an ass-tear around the yard and scraped the heeze out of her leg. Then yesterday Mingus decided to try to scale our 6-foot privacy fence and, unfortunately, succeeded. Everyone is safe and sound, but my nerves are, sadly, quite spent.

Up until these events, the most exciting thing that had happened to Ming and Dot lately was a new toy came into the house – the Bonbal, part of Petprojekt’s new collection of toys. It’s a well-designed toy (green, below) that’s fun to toss and fetch. The outer ends of the bone flip in to form a (mostly round) ball, which can also hold treats. Pretty cool.

Also pictured above: Cozmo, Dogbal, and Dogbon. You can check them all out at Petprojekt. (We found them cheaper at Petsmart.)

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UPDATE: Our contest winner was Commenter #17, Katie! Congratulations, Katie!


Mingus and Dottie don’t do much to help around the house, but they’re always ready to step up when there’s a treat review to be done. In this installment of Mingus & Dottie Try It, Mingus & Dottie try Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits and Trail Hound Dog Snacks, sent to us by Melissa at Cloud Star.

Both Trail Hound snacks and Buddy Biscuits soft and chewy treats are made in the USA with all natural ingredients. Trail Hound treats are low fat, perfect for both older pups and active youngsters. Although they contain no corn, no salt, no sugar, no soy, no egg, and no BHA or BHT, Trail Hound treats are loaded with healthy stuff, like essential fatty acids, antioxidants, L-carnatine, and kelp.

I had my doubts, as the Trail Hounds kind of look like those “cardboard” treats they have at the vet — but they smell good, and Mingus & Dottie got really excited over the Yogurt, Apple & Banana flavor. I like how they’re two treats joined together like a domino – perfect for snapping in half and splitting between two dogs.

Next Mingus and Dottie tried the Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits, shaped like little gingerbread men. This version of the original Buddy Biscuits is fragrant, soft, and chewy, and MY DOGS LOVED THESE TREATS. Seriously, they kind of caused a scene. I almost got mauled trying to take that picture up there. Like Trail Hounds, Buddy Biscuits are low in fat and contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives, but they apparently do not fall short on taste. It’s hard to believe my dogs could be so crazy about something that’s actually good for them.

Suffice it to say that when we finish up our freebie bags, we’ll be getting more Cloud Star treats.

Something else I really like about Cloud Star? Following their motto of “Wag More, Bark Less,” the company (founded in 1999) makes an effort to help pups and people in need. Believing that “good business should include doing good for others,” Cloud Star has pledged at least 10% of net profits to organizations that benefit animals, women, children, and the environment.

You can see all of Cloud Star’s treats here and find out where to fetch them here.

We want to share! Simply comment on this post below, and we’ll send one lucky (random) commenter a box of Trail Hound snacks (Chicken & Sweet Potato) and a bag of Soft & Chewy Buddy Biscuits (Duck)! We’ll draw a winner at 8:00 Eastern time today. (Sorry – We can only ship to U.S. and Canadian addresses.)

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It gets pretty cold up here in the mountains from time to time, but being Husky mixes, Mingus and Dottie are pretty well suited for it. Thus they don’t require a lot of clothing, a fact I occasionally lament. Dottie has one little sweater that is the. cutest. thing., and Mingus has a little collared jacket that is wicked handsome. Secret? I really want a little corduroy jacket for him with elbow patches (he is The Professor, after all). Somebody make me one.

Anyway, George has a great selection of classy sweaters and jackets to protect your pup from winter’s chill.

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Recently a representative for The Company of Dogs, which distributes Nina Ottosson toys, sent Mingus and Dottie the Tornado and asked if we’d like to give it a try. You’ve probably seen Nina Ottosson’s toys before: They’re really well-designed brain games for dogs that exercise dogs’ critical thinking and investigative skills.

The Tornado is comprised of four stacked bone-shaped wheels with treat compartments that rotate on a central axis. The idea is to hide treats in the layered bones and have your dog figure out how to spin the bones to find the treats. Ottosson gives the Tornado a skill level of “hard,” and I assume that if you’re a dog, it probably is.

One thing I really like about the Tornado is it gives you several options for exploratory play with your dog: the game includes removable plastic bones to increase the difficulty level for your especially brainy pooch. It’s made of sturdy, durable plastic – which is good, because soon enough Mingus would be batting it around the floor with his paws.

The Tornado comes with a instructional DVD that provides directions for use and ideas for interactive games — but I’m really one to jump right into things rather than waste time on instructions. So I grabbed some treats and dove right in.

I decided to give Dottie the first shot at the Tornado. While many pet parents are quick to laud the intelligence of their dogs, I will freely admit that when it comes to brains, Dottie is decidedly average. Once she picked up on the basic idea of the game, though, she caught on pretty quickly to the idea of turning the wheels to uncover the treats. I have to say I was pretty proud.

Mingus got the second go at the Tornado. While Dottie has to rely a lot on her looks to get by, Mingus is smart enough to build bombs. Your boy is scary smart. And while Dottie relied on that giant schnoz of hers to root out the treats, Mingus got into it with both snout and paws.

While he didn’t seem overly challenged by the Tornado, Mingus definitely enjoyed it. Here’s a video of his second go at it. (Don’t listen to my voice. It’s stupid.)

Next time we play, I’m going to try the removable bone treat-hiders out on Mingus. I think he’s ready.

Watching the pups enjoy the Tornado definitely makes me eager to try more of Nina Ottosson’s toys. The Tornado is also dishwasher-safe, which is great, ’cause that thing is totally covered with slobber.

You can fetch a Tornado (or other Ottosson toys) all over the interwebs.

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Can we talk about a little problem we’re having here? It’s not pretty. Mingus has apparently decided he now has to poop twice on every walk. Is it his food? Is it a seasonal thing? Has he simply found yet another way to be jerky? It’s hard to tell. But the sad truth is we go through a lot of poop bags these days.

How about a spiffy little walking vest that would allow him to carry his own poop bags, both empty and, er, used? Excellent idea.

Tree Parlor, a wonderful little Etsy shop based just down the road from me in Greenville, SC, features Saddle Wags™, awesome little walking vests and jackets (many made from upcycled clothing) with expandable pockets for carrying poop bags, cell phones, house keys, or whatever else you might need on your walk. Tree Parlor also offers some cute but classy winter coats for when this heat (finally) passes on.

Fetch Saddle Wags™ at Tree Parlor’s Etsy shop.

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Have you ever noticed that dogs seem to like kinda stinky stuff? I won’t go into detail, but I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about. I think this stink affinity is part of the reason Mingus and Dottie love fish-based foods so much. And it’s why I giggle a little at the name of The Honest Kitchen‘s first fish-based recipe, Zeal, as I’m sure Ming and Dizz would gladly devour a bowl of it with just that very emotion.

Like all of The Honest Kitchen’s dehydrated raw foods, Zeal is made from minimally processed, 100% human-grade ingredients, and is free of wheat and preservatives like ethoxyquin, which I’m not really sure how to pronounce but I know is really bad.

Says Lucy Postins, founder and CEO of The Honest Kitchen, “Zeal was truly inspired by our customers. For years, pet owners have told us that their dogs have allergies or intolerances to conventional meat sources, and we’re pleased that we can now offer this high-quality, human-grade recipe with minimal risk of allergies.”

And on top of that big ol’ pile of goodness, The Honest Kitchen will donate a portion of Zeal’s profits to marine conservation efforts, including The Nature Conservancy, The Blue Ocean Institute and the World Wildlife Fund.

Zeal will be available in late September from The Honest Kitchen.

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