The Biscayne Times

Jul 09th
For You, Rocky PDF Print E-mail
Written by Janet Goodman, BT Contributor   
December 2018

Holiday gifts for a best friend

DPix_PetTalk_12-18uring a recent obedience-training appointment in the Upper Eastside’s Bayside neighborhood, I noticed the client’s dogs resting on two handsome matching dog beds.

These weren’t your average, fleece-lined, undersized lumpy beds you usually see in TV rooms lying next to nose-smudged windows. These were roomy, double-stacked bolster beds made with quilted tweed fabric -- couch-like nests that were personalized with the pets’ names embroidered on the sides of the base cushions. These beds looked so comfy that I wanted to nestle right in next to them.

“Where did you get these wonderful beds?” I asked.

The answer was Orvis.

Orvis is a Manchester, Vermont, family-owned company founded in 1856. Originally specializing in fly-fishing equipment, the business expanded over the years to include high-quality bird hunting supplies, sportswear, home furnishings, travel products, and what they describe as “innovative dog products.”

Besides selling through the website and mail-order catalogues, Orvis has retail stores, outlets, and authorized dealers throughout the United States and U.K. (the closest retail store to Miami is in Key Largo). The Orvis blog is a resource for nature articles that reflect the company’s mission statement: “to guide patrons to lead more fulfilling lives through a deep personal connection to the adventure and wonders of the natural world.” Orvis annually donates five percent of pre-tax profits to programs protecting nature and promoting canine health and happiness.

Click on the “We Know Dogs” tab (the green dog silhouette) at the bottom of the website’s home page, and it takes you to the Orvis Guide to Dogs, with archives organized into six sections devoted to older dogs, traveling with dogs, training, safety, nutrition, and in-depth looks at how to choose their dog products.

One fascinating read is found under the “Dog Safety” section, titled “What to Do in a Bear Encounter with Your Dog.” Orvis suggests the best way to avoid a bear attack is to keep the dog at home or at least have it on a leash. The article states: “Fully domesticated dogs have no place in the wilderness except closely supervised: unleashed dogs are responsible for many avoidable encounters with bears, and often provoke these confrontations into a much more dangerous situation than necessary.” The article explains the many dog-bear encounter scenarios and how to best handle each one. Important bear facts are highlighted, even describing behavior differences in black bears (good tree climbers) from grizzlies (not good climbers). Their closing tip: “Never be without a canister of bear spray.”

Orvis has also developed an online survey of 13 questions that can be a tool for those interested in narrowing down what dog breeds are best suited for them. The “Dog Breed Selector” reveals suggested breeds after entering an e-mail address.

Here are some Orvis products that caught my eye:

Orvis Memory Foam Couch Bed: The cushion and cover are removable; the cover is washable. It’s made with furniture-grade microfiber quilted fabric. The double-stacked bolsters allow leaning without caving or flopping over ($249-$349, add $8 for embroidered dog’s name).

Dog Rocks: This is an innovative product that helps prevent pet urine burn marks on lawns. Rocks are placed in a dog’s water bowl, which purify the water by removing certain trace elements and lowering the nitrates found in dog urine, which cause unsightly brown patches of grass. Two-month supply is $19.

Reflective collar: This nylon collar with a side-buckle release is visible in low-light environments. It’s personalized with the embroidered dog’s name and contact telephone number. Seams are welded rather than stitched for durability ($29).

A similar non-reflective personalized Conceal-a-Collar ($25) has interior clips to hold a flea and tick collar underneath and close to the skin. Reflective personalized six-foot leashes are $29.

Paws & Bones Water Trapper Placemat: This is a personalized, rubber-backed mat for a dog’s feeding station. It’s designed to soak up water and protect floors underneath, and is easy to clean ($39-$59).

Wooden End-Table Crate: This smart-looking dog crate doubles as an endtable. The crate door can be secured in the open position for all day in-and-out traffic. This is for all dog owners who hate the drab look of traditional crates and cages ($249-$349).

Car Seat Extenders: Solid foam cores with microfiber covers sized to fit in front- or back-seat footwells to keep dogs from sliding off the seat ($69).

Hose-Off Hammock and Cargo Protectors: These quilted car interior covers securely fit and are water-resistant for easy spray cleaning. Beachgoers will love these covers ($139-$189).

Water Trapper Grid Stair Treads: The polypropylene fiber design collects water, and a rubber backing holds it in place to make steps safer to climb. Great for geriatric dogs and those who fear staircases ($59 for set of four).


Janet Goodman is a Miami Shores-based dog trainer and principal of Good Dog Bad Dog Inc. Contact her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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