Thursday, October 12, 2017

Airplane reading


Bouchercon calls one again, so here is one of the earliest blogs I wrote - in April 2012.


Little has changed sinceI found myself without a book to read on my flight to Boston this morning. At least a real book. I had plenty of ebooks, but wanted something to hold. What better than the Sky Mall in-flight shopping magazine. I should have looked at it long ago. I didn't know what I was missing.

Although I love dogs, I have not had one for a long time, due to a busy travel schedule. Reading Sky Mall, I came to realize that I was completely out of date when it came to knowing what dogs liked.
The first item I came across was the Comfy Couch Dog Bed. "Furniture- grade craftsmanship and materials create the ultimate canine retreat." I was pleased to see that it provided orthopedic support, while spun polyester fill, which I was pleased to learn was 40% 'loftier' than other fill, would relieve your poor dog's pressure points. A snip at $129.95 with free shipping. A bonus is that it comes with a tufted cushion and a bone pillow, although I am not quite sure why a bone needs a pillow.

For an additional $99.99 you can order a 360 Stainless Steel Fountain that provides five, free-falling water streams of filtered water that improve your pooch's health by encouraging it to drink more. It features replaceable charcoal filters to remove bad taste and odors to "provide constant pure water pets need and crave". Now I know why the fox terrier, Spotty, that I had as a kid, would turn up it's nose at our tap water.

I see, however, that Spotty's nervousness could have been alleviated had we bought it a Thundershirt. This ingenious invention provides gentle, constant pressure" that "has a profound calming effect for most dogs when anxious, fearful, or over- excited." This is clearly a wonderful invention. "It is similar to swaddling people with autism ... to relieve persistent anxiety."  It is to be used for "fear of thunder, fireworks, separation anxiety, travel, and general fearfulness." I wonder if they have one in my size. At $39.95, it would be a snip, especially in pink.

Walking a dog, when it needs to relieve itself, can be a drag. Don't worry, Sky Mall has the solution in the form of Porch Potty, which is "great for apartments and condos." this essential addition to your living area "gives a clean grass area right on your porch patio, or indoors.... includes plush synthetic grass, scented fire hydrant, and both indoor and outdoor drainage." It is almost worth spending the $224.99 (+$5) to find out what the scent is. For an additional $30 to upgrade to the premium version, you will get "an automated rinse and drain system that utilizes embedded sprinklers and an optional timer to assure the cleanest environment possible." I can't wait to see my guests' looks when the sprinklers go off in my living room.

For those who actually like to walk their dog, Sky Mall provides as well in the form of the retractable All-In-One Pet Leash. It offers "a water bottle, treat dish, 15 waste bags, bag dispenser, and safety color-coded strap." I have to admit I have not figured out why the strap is color-coded.  Perhaps the red strap is for when the dog's need is urgent; the green for normal ablution requirements. An additional benefit is that this must-have device "protects dogs from the dangers of drinking contaminated groundwater". Now I think of it, perhaps dipping the color-coded leash in puddles indicates how contaminated they are. Fortunately, this item also comes in pink. I only hope it is the same pink as the Thundershirt.

Of course, if you are going to take your dog for a walk, you wouldn't want it to pull you eagerly when it sees a contaminated puddle.  Fortunately there is a solution for that too. You can put The Tug-Preventing Dog Trainer between the color-coded leash and the dog. This essential device emits a harmless ultrasonic tone that canines find irritating yet is inaudible to humans". That is good to know. The ultrasonic tone becomes louder the more often the dog tugs.  (How would you know?) for sensitive dogs you can reset the volume level. Phew, I was worried.

I don't think I have any money left over to buy the Dog Training Device that "draws your pet like a magnet with its special scent that is irresistible to both male and female dogs".   Same scent as the fire hydrant, perhaps?  

Or to buy The Wisdom Panel Insights that has one simple test that "can explain your mixed- breed dog's unique behaviors, personality traits and wellness needs". I wonder if it is a multiple-choice test.
Or to purchase Scat Mats to keep my dogs off the furniture.

Next week I may have to blog about the Traveler's Bed Bug Thwarting Sleeping Cocoon or the Hand Reflexology Massager. Or the Dry Eye Relief Kit. Or Bigfoot, the Bashful 'Yeti' Tree Sculpture.
I can't wait to get home to see what UPS has left for me.

Stanley - Thursday


  1. I am in big trouble. My dog was reading your post over my shoulder. The question is, does she know how to order online?

  2. Stan, I admire your uncanny ability to adjust to any situation with such alacrity and wit. I want some of whatever it is that you take.

  3. Great, great post. The world is SO FULL of things we need. Not so sure about the color-coded strap, though. My dog eats cat poop from time to time, so I'm not losing much sleep over "contaminated groundwater."

  4. Liz: I suggest going to the parental control area of your computer. That may help. Thanks Jeff - it was a two-hour flight so I had plenty of time. And Tim, I think there was a tablet for dogs that eat cat poop. If you want, I can send you the details.

  5. I laughed all the way through reading this one.

    Fortunately, we didn't go so far as to buy the dog a couch but we did buy a large pillow for the Doberman when he was a puppy. A six month old Doberman isn't much different in size than a full grown one so it was a big pillow. The kids spent a lot of time debating where it should go but finally the three reached a consensus. Pillow is placed, dog sniffs pillow, dogs eats pillow. In minutes the stuffing from the pillow is all over the room. The dog slept on the floor for the next twelve years.

    We had a problem with contaminated water a few years ago. Something happened at the reservoir so people were told that water had to be boiled for every use. So the dog's water was boiled and cooled and kept as clean as what the humans were drinking until we saw the dog drinking out of the bird bath.

    If the anti-stress jackets for the dog actually worked as advertised, they would be worth whatever they cost. My mother had a Labrador retriever who was terrified of loud noises. The worst time of the year was Independence Day when kids would have fire crackers. One year the dog was so terrified that he pulled the baseboard off the wall in an attempt to hide in there.

  6. I was thinking about getting a dog but it's obviously waaaay too complicated.

  7. Last week my sister-in-law visited, with family and pet lapdog. Said dog had its own car seat, toilet included. The kids were crammed in the back. Go figure.

  8. If the dog was a pedigree animal with a genealogical chart, it likely cost more than the kids.

    We always get rescues. Our terrier is from Arkansas, a bit of a distance from New England. We northerners a good about getting our animals spayed and neutered so we don't have too many unwanted dogs. We got ours through a national chain of pet stores. A caravan of small trucks made frequent stops on the way north to drop off pets for their new owners.