Hands down, Falcor’s favorite thing in the whole world is a tennis ball. Unfortunately it’s somewhat hard to adequately play with a tennis ball in my townhouse so he’s tragically forced to play with other toys. Some of his favorite back-ups include plastic water bottles he steals out of the recycling bin and stuffed animals which he immediately de-stuffes then carries around for weeks. (Think I’m kidding about his love of these items? Notice his presence in the background of every picture in this post.) Obviously the former are free and the latter I pick up at thrift stores and nowadays preemptively de-stuff to keep him from swallowing fluff.
A few weeks ago I took him to a friend’s house so he could play with her dog while the humans ate dinner and mocked the X Factor. Falcor immediately took to one of his buddy’s toys, something called a bottle buddy, which featured a de-stuffed animal with a plastic water bottle inside. I knew he needed to have one at our house but of course I didn’t want to spend $8 on something I figured I could make myself. So I grabbed a thrift store stuffed animal, an dried out empty plastic water bottle, scissors, a seam ripper, a needle and some thread.
Meet Tigger who’s about to really regret that I brought him home with me. First I ripped out a seam far enough to make a medium sized hole in a very unfortunate place.
Start to rip out the stuffing before encountering an electronic thing-a-ma-jig that used to make Tigger’s candle light up. Cut it out and continue pulling out stuffing.
Next, slide the plastic bottle inside and feel vaguely guilty about exactly where you made that hole. Also note to self to buy a longer stuffed animal less time. Sew the hole closed.
Momentarily enjoy your hour’s worth of work.
Give to your dog and attempt to take a good picture but fail due to all the flailing.
Fifteen minutes later admire the carcass of your creation and be glad you didn’t spend $8 on dog toy.
One of Falcor’s favorite toys is a rope. He loves playing tug of war, racing down the hall to play fetch with it, throwing it in the air and shaking it around, or just chewing on it. Not surprisingly, ropes don’t have the longest life at my place. Every few months I find myself back at the pet store buying another $8 hunk of rope.
Finally, I had a light bulb go off over my head. Rope is also sold at the hardware store and is probably way cheaper.
So, during my last trip to the hardware store I bought 3 feet of un-dyed cotton rope (nothing but the best for my dog!) for $2.40. Tied some knots on the end and let him have at it.
Best part, besides the price? My knots are holding up way better than those on the expensive pet store ones, so this thing might even last longer than the other ones.
Pretty much, the title says it. I ran some errands the other night, including picking up a giant bag of dog kibble from Costco, which is enough for 2 1/2 months in my household. I unloaded everything on my front patio, then brought my groceries inside and got distracted by hurrying to put away my perishables. By the time I thought about it, it was the next morning, but sadly the kibble was gone. So whoever stole it, I hope you really really needed 40 pounds of Kirkland’s best chicken and vegetable formula, because I so don’t have room to spend another $30 on dog food this month.
As I mentioned in my Weekly Check-In, last week I took my dog, Falcor, in for his annual exam. In the past, I said yes to whatever the vet recommended, which was a physical exam, a blood and urine panel, a fecal panel, a heartworm test and a kennel cough vaccine to the tune of $250. But, that doesn’t include the heartworm prevention and flea and tick protection, which run $100 a year apiece.
So, this year when I got my reminder card, I did some research and talked to some friends who are vets themselves. I discovered that heartworm isn’t a big problem in my town. Considering I keep Falcor on heartworm prevention year round, don’t take him to places where heartworm is an issue and he’s mostly an inside dog, so he doesn’t get much exposure to any mosquitoes, I decided that I was confident he’s heartworm free and didn’t need to pay $50 for a test. I also don’t leave Falcor at kennels when I go out of town and we rarely go to dog parks, which is the main area of exposure for kennel cough, so I knocked that one off my list. I also figured since my dog is young and healthy, I didn’t need the urine and blood test, either.
Of course I wanted to do the physical, figuring if the doctor noticed anything concerning, I could always request more testing then. I also kept the lovely fecal test, since in the past he’s had problems, but I think next year I might drop that as well. I admit, I was a little nervous when I went into the vet’s office and told him I didn’t want the full work-up. He asked me why, agreed with all my reasons and just went on with the exam, no more questions or judging!
So, with a little bit of research and some backbone, I managed to save myself $150.