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Rhodesian Ridgeback Grooming and Bathing Tips

It’s Friday, and you know what that means, baby – a seven minute video about dog grooming! And they have the audacity to say I’m not as cool as I used to be…

In any event, from nails to coat to teeth, I get a lot of questions about Ridgeback grooming, so I put this together to cover it all. If you don’t have a Ridgeback hopefully there are still a few universal tips which are helpful. If not, I’ve no doubt you’ll find my forthcoming treatise on expressing anal glands to be worth your time. Wait, where is everyone going???

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Big Barker Beds – A Six Year Review

Panic ensues when the dogs find a strange man in their bed

I’m often asked to write product reviews but generally pass because most companies find my recommended testing period of “a few years or so” to be a bit much. But every once in awhile I like to offer an unsolicited review of a product I’ve found stands the test of time/Penny, and is worth your consideration. I have no affiliation with these manufacturers, but if you purchase products via affiliate links a portion of the proceeds goes towards Penny and Zero’s college fund.

Nearly a decade ago, when I was considering which dog bed to buy, I thought about the purchase as an expense. A necessary expense, but an expense nonetheless. I quickly bought an inexpensive foam bed and Eko seemed quite happy to sleep on it. Mission accomplished! Or so I thought.

Over the months, an Eko shaped depression formed in the center of the bed. Eventually, the bed was so concave I realized Eko was sleeping with only the thinnest support between him and the floor. I went out and purchased a new foam bed for slightly more money than the original. It lasted slightly longer before deflating. At this rate, I calculated I would spend approximately $1000 over Eko’s lifetime to keep a comfortable foam bed under him each night. There had to be a better option.

That’s when I discovered Big Barker Beds. Despite my experience with cheaper foam beds (and slightly worried the same might happen with any foam bed), I hemmed and hawed about spending $200 on a dog bed. What helped me make the decision to buy the bed was understanding the purchase was not an expense, but an investment. Investing in a better bed means investing in better sleep, better joint support and better comfort for your dog.

About the time I realized Penny needed a Big Barker of her own

A quality dog bed is a worthy investment, especially for larger breeds in need of more substantial support. And what has been the return on my investment? In the six years since I purchased the Big Barker it’s been slept on every night, often by two dogs, occasionally by a sleepy human parent . It’s been across the country multiple times for vacations, laid out on sunny porches as often as indoors. It’s endured countless hours of Ridgeback roulette – the dogs spinning and pawing until finally flopping down for the night. Six years of washing/drying a cover that still fits and works just as well as the day I bought it.

Once it became clear how fantastic the Big Barker Bed is, I had no problem ponying up to buy Penny one as well. For some reason (I blame being a sleep-deprived new dad) I put Penny’s bed in Zero’s crate when he was still a puppy. Shockingly, he tore it up. I salvaged the remains to make a travel bed and then hopped on Amazon to see what the damage would be for a replacement.

I purchased a Big Barker in 2013 for $200, and imagined the word was out about their quality and demand had pushed the price up substantially. Much to my surprise, the price of a Big Barker in 2019? $200. The company doesn’t run sales, but I don’t think they need to – these beds are worth every dollar. If the company’s 10-year no-flatten warranty doesn’t put your mind at ease, you can check out this comparison between our six-year-old bed and the brand new one.

Human child for scale

The older bed has compressed by about ½ inch, but once covered it’s visually and functionally indistinguishable from the newer one. The dogs are quite content to stretch out on whichever bed happens to have the most sun.

If you’re in the market for a dog bed, I highly recommend you consider purchasing a Big Barker. The beds are a great investment in your dog’s health and comfort. If you have any questions about how the beds look/perform in person feel free to drop me a line anytime.

First Comes Dog, Then Comes Marriage

I’m not entirely sure why Emily agreed to marry me, but at this point it’s probably best I not ask too many questions. What I do know is that none of this – this channel, this blog, or this man – would have been possible without her love.

If someone you love wants to get a dog, I hope this video gives you a reason to hear them out!

Spring Loaded

Spring is less a season and more of a state of mind for Zero and Penny. The weather has been slow to adopt that state of mind, but we’re savoring every brief glimpse of the sun we can get! Side note, if you’re wondering why the site currently looks like an idiot designed it….mystery solved! I’m trying to make some updates, but as always, I have no idea what I’m doing so things may look wonky for a bit/forever.

Five Years of Mayhem

Was Penny the dog of my dreams? Absolutely not, and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. Ever since her ship crash landed on our planet five years ago, Penny’s infused our lives with her cosmic energy.

Sure, we may have lost pieces of our sanity along the way, but I’ve never had more than a tenuous grip on those to begin with.

“Watch Out For That One. She’ll Test You.”

A few gray hairs huddle together on the underside of Penny’s cheek — wisely hoping to escape her notice, I suspect. The first and only scar Eko gave her, a nick across the nose during an ambitious foray into his dinner, has faded to all but my own eyes. Past her signature neck whorl is a patina of scrapes, scabs and well worn paw pads. The crown of the ridge running along her back, like the girl herself, remains as reliably off kilter as the day I carried her home.

Read more“Watch Out For That One. She’ll Test You.”

Making A Moment Count

I used to think meaningful moments in life were a discovery trekked to or stumbled upon. But Lincoln, Penny and Zero remind me that these moments must be purposefully crafted. Not because a particular time or place is special, but because we decide to make it so.

Better Versions of Ourselves

Whoever we are, we are better for having a dog. While we can often hide from ourselves, there’s no hiding from our pups. They need our love, our care, and our best effort.

In the moment, I’m not always excited to go out in the freezing cold in the morning, but I’m always grateful Penny and Zero get me out there. I am unequivocally better for it.

A Collar Worthy of Your Dog

In one of my most vivid memories from childhood I am holding Indy, our aged and infirm family Dalmatian, on the floor of the veterinarian’s office with my mother. Suffering from interminable seizures, and nearly unable to walk, Indy is past the point where we can convince ourselves that even the most dedicated and loving care offers him comfort.

The vet speaks to us kindly in a hushed voice and we soothe Indy while I watch the viscous pink fluid push through the IV. I’m shocked by how quickly Indy dies. One moment I’m holding my dog, and in the space between breaths he is gone.

What sticks with me most about that moment is not Indy’s death. It is the strange feeling I had that the lifeless body I held afterwards was not him. A feeling that the spotted coat in my arms was just that, a coat Indy left behind as he flew away with the air of that last breath.

Read moreA Collar Worthy of Your Dog