Monday, 11 August 2014

New "Ezydog" harness for Blue

Model dog ;-))
With our holiday to the Lake District approaching, it was time to seek out a new harness for Blue.

As Blue is not able to go off lead, both for his temperament and the safety of livestock, and some humans, previous harnesses have worked well, but his current one had a few issues. They were namely, both front feet had to be lifted into the harness and then buckled up. Some days this became a battle of wills or costly in treats, but once on, very effective. Previously it had shown signs of stress, and deformation, curling up. So time to part with a few pennies down at "Pets at Home" our local pet shop.

We settled for the "Ezydog" mainly due to the size of dog it could accommodate. Blue was in the shop with us when we brought it, along with his squeaky toy and treat. But it did not seem right to try it on in the store, and they don't have fitting rooms, so off we went home to try it on.

With the extra large fitting, it was a little snug on his chest, but by loosening up the neck it was a better fit. Adjustment is very easy with sliding plastic buckles, and fitting is a doddle, with the aid of a few treats. Two fittings were all that were required before the strap length was suitably adjusted.

Fitting could not be easier, necessitating in only needing Blue to raise one paw, and the rest did up around him.

The webbing felt softer, and with high visibility stitching would aid visibility, the breast plate sat nicely on him. Time for the true test, how would he tolerate it on a walk.

We took Blue to the local University, for a decent walk in the spacious grounds.

The harness looked comfy, and the fact that Blue was taking no notice of it, meant he was relaxed with it on. It has a metal ring suitable for attaching any lead clasp to, and both buckles make a good solid snap when pushed together.

As we walked along, the harness started to "roll" the "x" part of the lead was lying further down the shoulder on the side that the lead was being held. Alarmed at first, I just lifted it back to the centre of Blue's shoulder blades, but it soon became evident that this was happening due to the fact that, a long lead on a large dog, is going to be different to a short lead on a little dog. 

On closer inspection, the breast plate remained dead centre of his chest, the straps were allowed to move freely, but maintain position of comfort. 

Our walk was just under an hour, changing sides periodically the harness had a natural roll on either side. Design or not, my gut feeling is that it is designed to remain static. Could this be a problem for eccentric wear in the future, who knows, only time will tell.

Tightening up the buckles, may prevent "rolling" but may also impede on chest heave, when heavy breathing through excessive exercise is required.

After the walk, Blue showed no signs of distress or discomfort, no chaffing or redness on any part of his body, we vote it a success.

Cost was £22.00 so not budget range, nor top end. 

The colour black suites Blue as you can see in the various shots below.

Because Blue has his own Twitter page, @BluetheGSD he had to share with +Pets at Home 

As seen above his tweet was favourited and replied to;

With his harness off Blue was ready to play with the old "Jollyball" once more

Saturday, 9 August 2014

Something old, something borrowed, something new and something Blue!

Something old
Having a bit of a spring clean at home, and found Blue's old buster collar, before we threw it out we put it on him, a little bit of a squeeze but on it went, he looked so chuffed, it stirred up the memory of what it was used for, his rehabilitation fro his back surgery, when he was less than one year old.

Safe to say we have had a change of heart, and it is staying.

As you can see from comparison to a new one his has been modified.

We had already gone through a couple, the modifications were essential to allow Blue to enter and exit his crate safely, the duct tape was to reduce the splitting which occurred on a regular basis.

So for sentimental reasons, we will put away safely for memories another day.

Something borrowed

When I say borrowed it is more like found. While on our walk this morning, out of nowhere Blue walked straight up to a hedge and pulled this ball out. He has been known to do this on many occasions, so we rarely have to buy him replacement footballs to play with. I can only assume he finds them through scent, as often they are out of sight, he will rummage through the undergrowth or hedge and pop out proudly with a ball in his mouth.

Something new
After a bit of exchange on Twitter, it was decided to buy Blue a new Squeaky, this took the form of a duck. What made this a little more unusual, Blue actually went into the shop and help select it.
This morning Blue got his new toy and a whole new experience of shopping. We went into "Pets at Home" Rose Kiln Lane, Reading. To say Blue was excited is an understatement, the phrase like a kid in a sweet shop springs to mind, sniffing everything. However he was a bit like Bambi on ice, he struggled to get a grip on the slippery floor with his big furry paws, but after a few moments he soon learnt not too pull so hard. The staff were great, just allowed him to do as he pleased, and Blue was a model dog on his shopping expedition. No free samples on offer, but that did not seem to bother Blue. He will return no doubt, his favourite shop now.

While we were at Pets at Home, we purchased a new harness for Blue, which will be reviewed in his next Blog.

Finally something Blue

Blue standing majestically in his garden