Thursday, February 25, 2010

KURANDA DOG BEDS: CLOSING THE GAP IN SPECIES DIFFERENCES ONE BED AT A TIME

When we first brought Bobo home from the shelter she was a tragedy. There is no other way to describe her. She was scrawny and malnourished, she was skittish and terrified, she had no manners, she wouldn’t let up giving chase to our three cats (who will never forgive the betrayal), she had so much energy she literally did climb the walls one day and she had herself a very busy mouth. She chewed everything in her way. She ate glasses. She ate socks. She ate shoes. She ate pillows. She ate pens. She ate magazines. She ate blankets. She ate her bed. She ate her brother’s bed. And, ironically, she especially loved to eat all of the dog training books I bought.

Luckily she didn’t eat people furniture, but everything else was fair game. I was able to hide or remove most of the items that she found tasty from her, but there wasn’t anything we could do about the bed she was supposed to sleep in. She needed a bed. She was crated at the beginning of her training, but she needed something soft to sleep on. It just didn’t seem fair that she sleep on hard plastic now that she was out of the shelter.

After several days of searching, I finally found Kuranda Dog Beds, guaranteed chew proof for a year. I didn’t know how any dog product could possibly make such a claim, especially considering that this particular dog managed to chew through the Extreme Kong “for tenacious chewers”, in about 13 seconds. But, given that I absolutely was not willing to let that dog out of her kennel at night and I didn’t want her eating another bed, I was willing to give anything a shot. So I ordered the Crate Bed.

The Kuranda beds are more like cots. The edges of the material are enclosed in what they call poly resin, but what looks to be PVC pipe. Because there are no exposed fabric edges, there is nothing for the dog to chew on. And because there is no stuffing like in standard dog beds, there is also no game in it. There is nothing to disembowel. There is only a cot with a little bit of slack, just enough for the dog to have a nice hammock, but not enough for a mouthful.

The Crate Bed comes with two sets of legs. 3” legs allow for enough headroom in the crate, and either 6” or 9” legs depending on what size bed you ordered. (6” legs come with the bed sizes up to Large, and 9” legs come with the X-Large and XX-Large.) Some assembly is required with these beds, but it’s pretty idiot proof, so as long as you have a screwdriver and at least a second grade reading capabiltiy, you’re all set. Immediately upon putting the bed together, our Bobo decided that it was just fabulous and laid down in it. This was a minor miracle as she hadn’t actually stopped moving since we got her 6 weeks earlier. She didn’t even try to eat it, not that she would have been successful even if she had tried.

Unfortunately, however, I rapidly discovered the lovely sound the bed made when it interacted with claws. There are several different fabrics (and colors) that you can choose when ordering a bed and they are all nylon or vinyl. If you don’t already know, both of these materials make a terrible scratching sound when met with claws. OK, that may be a slight exaggeration. It’s not a terrible sound unless you are trying to sleep. Then it’s a terrible sound. To remedy this problem, I bought a fluffy bed cover which I was certain Bobo would eat. I was right. She couldn’t eat the bed itself, but she could very easily eat the soft, fluffy cover. It was a calculated risk on my part. I finally got some sleep and although the tearing sound was a little distracting, it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as the claw scratching.

The other relatively rapid discovery was that Bobo quickly became very attached to her bed, as did her older brother (Zac) and all of the cats. Since the bed was her happy place, it went into her kennel at bedtime, and out of her kennel during the day. This meant that Bobo always had something that was hers to make her feel comfortable when everything else around her was scary and odd. However, every time she got up (to eat, or drink, or go “poopy outside” or just wander aimlessly as dogs are want to do), one of the other animals took her place. Apparently, not only is the Kuranda bed chewproof, it also spans species differences, leading me to believe that with a few minor adjustments it could potentially solve world hunger and eliminate social injustice.

To solve the bed-theft problem I got two more beds. Although I had five pets at the time, I thought three beds was enough. The chances of them all sleeping at the same time and in the same position were slim enough to warrant yet another calculated risk. It paid off. Three was enough.

Three years later, Bobo still sleeps in her Kuranda bed which is conveniently located next to my desk. Zac and her switch off between the larger bed that they fit on, and the smaller one originally purchased for the cats. The latest addition to the family, Nugget also really enjoys the smaller bed. He just made himself right at home, and curled up next to the dogs in his own little hammock. Oddly enough no one fights over who gets to sleep in them at any given time. It seems to operate on a first come, first served basis. It’s interesting really, because little else works like that in the land of the fur-people. Maybe Kuranda does have the answer to common courtesy and social injustice after all.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent analysis. Thanks for this investigate reporting.

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  2. latest addition to the family, Nugget also really enjoys the smaller Kuranda Dog Beds.

    ReplyDelete