Friday, July 30, 2010

Product Review

Laurie here: I'm taking a little departure from agility for this post. I'm also writing this myself, instead of handing the keyboard over to Arnie or Gracie.

I have a confession to make: I am a vacuum-aholic. I obsess over them, research them, and buy a new one every few years, trying to find the perfect product. That includes handheld vacuums, too. When you have pugs, it goes without saying that there is fur EVERYWHERE. I'm constantly brushing, wiping, sweeping and vacuuming, in an attempt to keep the fur level down to a manageable level. I have hardwood floors, so my vacuum purchasing doesn't need to deal with carpet. But I want suction - LOTS of it.

About 20 years ago, I bought an electric broom (Hoover Runabout) that is still the best hair picker-upper I've ever used. No vacuum has ever come close to it. (My dream vacuum is the Dyson Animal. I drool over it every time I see it in a store. I think it might do the job. But I just can't bring myself to pay the price.) For handheld vacuums, I've used a Dustbuster for 20 year, but it's obsolete - I can't find bags for it anymore. I replaced it a few years ago, but the newer model didn't work at all.

About 6 months ago, I decided to find the perfect handheld. I wanted one with a cord (the cordless just don't have enough power), and it had to be bagless. I stumbled upon the Bissell Pet Eraser, and since the price was right, I bought it.

IT IS THE BEST HANDHELD VACUUM I'VE EVER USED. There, I said it. And here it is:

If you're looking for an easy-to-use, effective, powerful, reliable and lightweight handheld vacuum, this is it. Five paws out of five, for sure.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I am NOT happy

Arnie here: and I'm mad as heck.

First, some background. My mom LOVES fairs. She grew up near the New York State Fair, where she attended every year. She even worked there one year, serving the carnies at a restaurant. Now we live near the California State Fair, and while she doesn't go every year, she's gone about 10 times.

This year, Sacramento Dog Training Club held an Agility Trial at the State Fair. AND I DIDN'T GET TO GO! Worse, Gracie went...........argh.

The Premium List came, and it explained that the Trial was being held in the Livestock Building. That was all mom needed to know. She figured if there were cows anywhere near the ring, I would be way more interested in them than in her. It also said that there may be cattle showing in the agility ring prior to the Trial. OK, I admit it. It would have been a disaster. I'm getting better about paying attention, but the cows would have been way too much to ignore.

That morning, she loaded Gracie up with all of OUR gear, and drove away. Gracie was dancing and prancing about, and I was in my crate. The rest of the story was what Gracie told me:

They got to CalExpo, and had to park in a field a loooong way from the ring. Mom remembered to pack her cart, so they wheeled up a big hill, then down another big hill. Then they went into a huge building. And this what they found:

Yup, not a cow in sight. Or goat. Or horse. Or ANYTHING. I could have gone after all. OK, maybe not. I guess even though there weren't any animals, there was plenty of animal poop around. Everywhere. In large quantities. And I confess - I would have tried to eat it all. Apparently Gracie tried to eat it all. And succeeded in eating a whole lot of junk. Not just poop, but popcorn, corn dog crumbs, candy. It sounded like heaven.

Mom got Gracie settled in. The club had an area set aside just for the exhibitors, away from the crowds. Mom brought her fans, and sprayer and cool coat. But the building was air conditioned, and stayed nice and cool all day long. Here's where Gracie hung out at the Fair:

She ran 3 runs, and qualified in one. She got a red ribbon in Open Jumpers with Weaves. I guess her runs were really good, with a few minor things that went wrong. Mom was most excited about Gracie doing her weave poles perfectly every time.

Here's her Jumpers with Weaves course:

There were a lot of people watching the dogs run. It was Kids Day at the Fair, so lots of kids came by to see the dogs. Gracie visited a lot of people, and was petted and petted and petted. They all thought she was cute, and that her fur was very soft. After her last run, the crowd cheered, and there was a line of kids wanting to pet her as she left the ring. She said she felt like a Rock Star! I can't believe I didn't get to act like a Rock Star.

They both got home really late. Mom said something about "rush hour traffic". And it must have been a tiring day, because Gracie was exhausted. She curled up into a ball, and went right to sleep.

Maybe next year, if I learn to control myself better, mom will let me go.