Dyson’s DC39–Not Just Another Pretty Face

DISCLOSURE: Dyson sent me their vacuum to try–free of charge. And I get to keep it. This review represents my honest and personal experience and opinion. This review in no way represents the opinions or views of my employer, P&G Pet Care.


Dyson’s DC39-Animal

OK, either it’s a work of art or it reminds you of one of those monsters out of a science fiction movie. Personally, I think it leans more towards art than alien, and I LOVE IT!

I’ve always wanted a Dyson vacuum, because word of mouth has always been good. In fact, a friend of mine who has a multiple dog home told me a couple months ago that once she got her Dyson it was like having brand new carpeting. Yep. She was right.

The little beauty that the nice Dyson folks sent for me to try is their new DC 39 Animal. It’s a canister vacuum designed to be easier to navigate around furniture and obstacles. And it has that incredible Radial Root Cyclone™ technology that sucks up more dust than anybody else.

So I gave it a little test.

Tyler would rather play, but this is a dirty rug in need of a cleaning.

First, I used my old upright vacuum. Tyler took off because of the noise.

Next, I used the DC 39 to vacuum the same rug. Tyler was intrigued because it hardly made any noise.

This is what the Dyson pulled out of the rug (I put the quarters in there to give you an idea of the amount of dust this vacuum pulled out of the rug).

After using the Dyson, it was like having a brand new rug–I could hardly believe how much dust my old vacuum had left behind!! And pulling out that dust made a visual difference in the rug.

This test was so successful, I was inspired to vacuum the entire house! And this was good because it helped me to get an even better understanding of this lovely Animal:


  • It’s plastic, so it might be easy to break.
  • The instructions were pictures-only, not detailed enough.
  • The hose is a little ungainly and sometimes hard to manage.
  • When finished, trying to hook the hose wand to the slot on the body of the canister was impossible.
  • The price.


  • The trigger on the handle for decreasing suction–FABULOUS for my bedroom floor which is covered in light-weight rugs.
  • It’s so QUIET!
  • It has a really long power cord–I did the entire house and only had to replug once.
  • The floor attachment has a power brush that is easily controlled through the handle of the hose wand.
  • Great suction.
  • Really easy to dump the dirt and dust from the bin.
  • NO BAGS!!


This is an excellent vacuum for someone with lots of dog hair or even cat dander to pick up. It’s efficient, easy to use, and easy to clean. I LOVE this vacuum! But at $499.99 it’s a little outside of my price range.

Baby Reagan Wins Hearts and a Home

One of my favorite people (and a personal hero) Robin Presnell, who leads Small Paws Rescue, has failed Foster 101.

Robin, and husband Dale, already have two Small Paws Rescue dogs: Chipper (her first rescue who came from a puppy mill) and Spunky Monkey. In the past 13 years, Robin has helped find furever homes for over 8,000 Bichons. Robin has fostered many times in the past. There have been a couple of times when she almost couldn’t give up her foster Fluff. But each time, she happily sent the Fluff off to a new, furever home—probably with tears of gladness in her eyes.

“There was magic in the air the first time I met him, when I reached down and picked him up, pulling him from a kill shelter a few weeks ago. He was trembling, and was in a run with a large dog who was scaring him. The minute I held him to my chest, and told him it was ok, that I was a Bichon Mom and he was safe now, he took a big sigh.”

Of course, Robin’s fate was sealed.

Reagan was originally fostered in Tulsa with a Small Paw volunteer who needed to make a business trip to New York City, so she asked Robin if Reagan could bunk with her for a few days. Reagan worked his magic, and found his furever home with Robin!

The rest of the family—especially the four-legged members—are very happy with the arrangement. Reagan joins 14-year old Spunky Monkey in blitzing through the house. And he loves to wrestle with his other brother, 13-year old Chipper. Youngster Reagan has made his older brothers feel like puppies again!

Reagan has also become an ambassador for Small Paws. As Robin says,” I take lots of business cards when Reagan is with us. He’s a people magnet.”

He accompanies Robin to the local middle school where she teaches an after school class about dogs. “He loves everybody and everything,” says Robin. “He LOVES to go and is a perfect gentleman when we are out.”

Last weekend, Reagan accompanied Robin and husband Dale as they did shopping errands (Chipper and Spunky Monkey prefer to remain at home instead of meeting and greeting the crowds). Their last stop was lunch at a popular burger restaurant that has an outside patio, so Reagan could sit with them. It was a beautiful, sunny day. Robin finishes the story:

“Dale had a burger, I had a chicken salad, and Reagan had a piece of grilled chicken.

So during dinner I told him, “Baby Reagan, now we don’t want to hurt Spunky Monkey and Chipper’s feelings, do we?”

“No, Mama.”

“So, when we get back home, we don’t need to announce that we went out for dinner, ok?”

“Yes Mama.”

After letting all of the other outside diners come over and pet him, we made a last quick shopping stop and then returned home.

The SECOND he got home and in the door he screams at the top of his little lungs, “WE WENT TO MASH BURGER!! WE WENT TO MASH BURGER!!”

Spunky ran up to him and started to sniff him.


And the blitz was on. Round and round they went, Tails up, motors running.

Whenever I take Reagan to the eye dogtor, Spunky and Chipper mope around, waiting by the door for us, so says their Dad. They are not moping for me. They want their BROTHER back and NOW!

We have a baby in our house again.

And it will never, ever be the same.”


I love happy endings! Don’t you?


Want to help? Make a donation to Small Paws Rescue!

EzyDog? Definitely Easy!

DISCLOSURE: EzyDog sent me their harnesses to try–free of charge. And I get to keep them. This review represents my honest and personal experience and opinion. This review in no way represents the opinions or views of my employer, P&G Pet Care.


Tyler models the EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

Tyler models the EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

I don’t do many product reviews. But I was thrilled when my friend Pam (from Pet Blogs United and The Daily Oskar) asked me to take a look at a couple of EzyDog harnesses, because I had already heard about their standards of quality!


Tyler models the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

Tyler models the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

EzyDog started production in a garage in Australia. Luke Hatcher, who worked in the water sports industry, enjoyed sharing his passion for “surf, sand, and adventure” with his Border Collie, Roger. Not satisfied with the available leashes, he used his knowledge of materials and manufacturing to create the “Original Shock Absorbing Dog Leash.” This unique leash features a bungie-cord-type shock absorber within the leash. Very quickly, demand for this leash was overwhelming and Mr. Hatcher turned his garage experiment into a successful business. EzyDog products continue to be handmade and are now sold in 18 countries worldwide.


EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

Tyler models the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

We tried the Chest Plate Harness first. This is a basic harness in a criss-cross configuration with a pad that snugs up against the chest. Very simple to put on and adjust–a release buckle on each strap with length adjustment that starts at the buckle. There is a stainless-steal D-ring at the center back for attaching a leash. And the cute EzyDog logo (a doggy face) located at the D-ring helped me to know that I had the harness on correctly.

EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

Note the EzyDog logo–a stylized dog face–in the center of the crossed straps

Once the straps were adjusted for Tyler, this harness was a breeze to put on and take off. It fit snug to his body without being constricting. I LOVED the reflective stitching running down either side of the straps. And he looked quite charming in basic black (this harness comes in several colors including camo and pink camo!)

EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

Tyler, secured in the car with his EzyDog Chest Plate Harness

This harness can be paired up with the EzyDog Seat Belt Restraint. This is a heavy looped strap which the seat belt passes through with a clip that snaps onto the harness’s D-ring.

Though I can see the quality, the Seat Belt Restraint was not successful for Tyler.  The strap of the Seat Belt Restraint was too short for Tyler. I think this would have worked very well for a bigger dog who would have the body weight to support moving the loop of the Seat Belt Restraint around when attached to the seat belt. I think we would have done better with the EzyDog Adjustable Car Restraint, which is similar to the very short leash I use as Tyler’s seat belt.

The short leash (an old leashed that I’ve shortened to approximately 2-feet with a loop for the car’s seat belt on one end and a clip for the harness on the other) worked very well with the EzyDog Chest Plate Harness and this harness has now become our first choice when Tyler goes for a ride in the car.


The Quick Fit Harness is very well named–it’s quick to fit and really fast to put on. There are two points of adjustment. The torso strap adjusts at the buckle in the same way as the straps adjust on most harnesses. The neck strap is a very clever combination of Velcro under a sleeve padding. It’s hard to describe, so here is a video that explains it:

EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

Strutting on down the street in the classy EzyDog Quick Fit Harness

The Quick Fit Harness is AMAZING! Incredibly easy to put on–over the head, snap the strap and you’re done! It comes in a variety of colors–including Tyler’s favorite elegant black. And (like the Chest Plate Harness) it has reflective stitching that adds to its classy look. In very little time, I had the harness adjusted to Tyler and we were walking down the street. We LOVE this harness for walking!


  • Both of these harnesses are very well made.
  • The price for each harness is comparable to other harness brands; however, I am very impressed with the quality of the EzyDog harnesses. They are so nicely made!
  • After being adjusted, both harnesses fit Tyler perfectly and I felt no anxiety that he might accidentally slip out of either one.
  • This is the first time I can remember putting a harness on Tyler without him scratching at it with annoyance.
  • We love both of these harnesses, and when we wear them out we’ll be buying replacements from EzyDog!


EzyDog Chest Plate Harness


EzyDog. Now go and play!

Rags to Riches!

This is a sweet story! Small Paws member Michelle tragically lost Chumpie, one of her beloved dogs. Her heart was healed by little Blossom, who entered her home as a foster and stayed on as a new family member.

Last summer both of my dogs got attacked by a German Shepard. Unfortunately, I lost my 13 yr old and was still grieving but was desperately looking for another Bichon to fill the family gap. I was frustrated with trips to the shelter and came across the Small Paws Rescue website. Could this be for real? I filled out a foster application after viewing all the dogs that needed homes. I thought, why don’t I start there because at least I could see if the dog Blossom Small Pawswould be a good match for my survivor, Cracker. It seemed like forever, but three weeks later I got “the phone call” from Small Paws Rescue telling me that they had a puppy pair that needed a foster. What a huge task for a first time foster! Then they ended up going with a foster mom in their area. I cried. I was disappointed but didn’t really want a puppy I just wanted my senior dog back. Please Lord, just send me a dog like Chumpie. A day later, on the way to pick up my dog’s ashes I received another call. Small Paws Rescue rescued a stray dog and they were looking for a foster home for Blossom Small Pawsher. Everyone wanted her, but everyone had too many dogs. Absolutely! I was thrilled. So my healing process began, and even though I didn’t get pics of this dog until after I agreed I felt like it was meant to be. Blossy (Blossom) made it to my door step, into my heart and within one week joined my family. She ran right into my home and Cracker leaped off the couch and they have been wrestling ever since. Did I happen to mention that God has a wonderful way of revealing himself? Blossy looks just like my other dog, but a female puppy version. She also happens to have the same little trot, and what are the odds I would get another dog that stuffs socks in their mouth and prances around the house? This girl quickly became my little princess and got her very own rhinestone collar. She is spunky and always wants a “pawdicure” while riding in the car. She gets a plate of homemade food every day (being a stray you would think she would eat anything but that is not the case. This Diva will not touch any kind of dog food) I even sing a little jingle every time I feed or greet her. (Don’t act like I am the only one that does this. If you own a Diva Bichon you know they have at least four nicknames and own pink snowsuits). I couldn’t have gotten a better dog. She was able to be potty trained and learned tricks very easily. I love my Boo Bear so much! She has enabled me to heal and puts a smile on my face everyday. Plus, she is super cute!I feel comforted knowing my Chumpie died so Blossy could live. Heaven and Small Paws Rescue has sent me a wonderful gift!

Tyler says, Small Paws is helping little doggies every day. Even me! They found me, kept me alive when I was full of parvo, and found me my furever home! Do you have a few dollars you can give?

Today Starts Petfinder’s Adopt-A-Less-Adoptable-Pet Week!


What is the easiest pet to get adopted? If you said puppies or kittens, you’d be correct. This week, Petfinder wants to bring attention to pets who seem to have more trouble finding their forever home:

  • Deaf
  • Blind
  • Old
  • Not-a-dog-or-cat
  • Black
  • With a health condition
  • Doesn’t look perfect
  • Is a breed with a rep

Our world is made more beautiful by its diversity, and we are made more beautiful through our compassion. If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your family, please consider a pet who might not be the best looking of the bunch. Or one who has mellowed with age. Or one who has some health issues that you can help manage. Or who might need some extra help in learning how to navigate through life. Or maybe, consider adopting a pet that’s not a dog or cat. And remember, black is beautiful!

Remembering September 11, 2001

I visited New York City recently and spent a wonderful day with a dear friend, Michele Hollow of Pet News and Views. For a long time I’ve wanted to make the pilgrimage to lower Manhattan and the site of the World Trade Center. Michele was happy to indulge me–she is a native New Yorker, exiled to New Jersey, and very proud to show off her favorite city.

Even though my goal was Ground Zero, I think the most powerful part of the day for me was the walk we took across the Brooklyn Bridge. In the chaos that followed the fall of the Towers, I remember the sea of people I saw on TV rushing across the Brooklyn Bridge trying to find safety.

We all want to be safe.

So, on this day, let’s remember the heroes of 9-11–the fire fighters, the police officers, the courageous airline passengers facing down high-jackers, the office workers who checked to make sure no one was left behind on the trek down all those stairs to the street, the strangers who helped other strangers get across the Brooklyn Bridge–or uptown–away from the clouds of dust and debris as the Towers came down…all the heroes who helped people to safety that day. And let’s remember the workers and volunteers who came after. And the dogs who helped.

All any of us want is to be safe.

On this day, make a special effort to be gentle and polite to strangers. Hug the people and furbabies that you love. Take joy in being alive and able to appreciate the beautiful and diverse world we live in.

And be safe.

Looking at lower Manhattan from the walkway of the Brooklyn Bridge

Petfinder’s Big Birthday Adoption Weekend!

This weekend, September 15-17, Petfinder is joining with over 1,500 rescue groups and shelters across North America for what could be the largest adoption event in Petfinder history. This is in honor of Petfinder’s 15th Birthday! And they want to get 15,000 pets into furever homes THIS WEEKEND! Whew!

What can you do to participate and help? If you can’t adopt a pet, you can:

  1. Add Petfinder’s free 15th Birthday PicBadge to your Facebook and/or Twitter profile.
  2. RSVP “Yes” to Petfinder’s Big Birthday Adoption Event invitation on Facebook and on Tweetvite to show your support. Then share the invitation with your friends.
  3. Share a shelter-nominated pet from Petfinder’s Big Birthday Adoption Weekend photo gallery on your blog, Facebook, or Twitter.
  4. Download, print and post Petfinder’s customizable birthday flier around  your neighborhood and ask local businesses to display Petfinder’s customizable birthday cards.
  5. Sign the online birthday card and add your pet’s picture (Tyler is there!)
  6. Write a blog post or op-ed about the value of pet adoption and link back to the Petfinder Birthday page.
  7. Contact your local shelter and volunteer for their big event.

Sam the Man

Sam the Man was not with Small Paws member Sandra for very long. But he made a lasting impression. Grab a tissue….

A little fluffly white hurricane swept through my heart and home for three action-packed, wonderful weeks, and I’ll never forget him.  Sam the Man was a 15-year-old nearly deaf and blind old man whose family turned him in because he had broken potty training.  (Pfffftt)  He sniffed, explored, rejected all the squishy beds I offered him and ate huge meals.  He was a fluff of strong opinions, unwilling to compromise unless it was food, and then he would eat anything.  When I stroked his back he immediately rolled over, belly up, his legs waving in the air.  He loved the fenced back yard and roamed it for as long as I’d let him stay out in the cold weather.  But I had to watch him because there were some plastic bags in the corner of the yard to be picked up and he loved tearing plastic.  If I came out and found him going at that plastic, I’d run over and pick him and he’d be growling and those little legs would be running in the air.  I’d set him down inside and then we’d repeat it the next time he went out.  Then I discovered he loved the plastic waste basket liners and rummaging in the trash.  He would leap up and grab the overlapping edge with his teeth and then swing back and forth until it would topple over and he could graze.  Lord I wish I had taken a picture of him swinging back and forth in the air. StM had many health issues, and he was in a lot of pain, so it was with a very heavy heart and a lot of tears that we helped him to the bridge where he would be happy and healthy again. So good-bye Sam the Man and rummaging in the trash.  You managed to make yourself felt and loved and you lived your life with vigor despite your pain and the loss of your family of 15 years.  He was only with me for three weeks, and I’ll never forget him.


Click to donate to Small Paws Rescue

Tyler says, Small Paws is helping little doggies every day. Even me! They found me, kept me alive when I was full of parvo, and found me my furever home! Do you have a few dollars you can give?

We Have an Anniversary!

It occurred to me today that it’s Tyler’s anniversary for finding his furever home! One year ago today I flew home to Dayton from Phoenix with my little four-pound fluff boy. Since he joined our home…

…his weight has doubled;

…his coat has grown out;

…I’ve puppy-proofed our fence–twice;

…I’ve learned how to use my laptop while fending off helpful paws (see photo, above);

…I’ve found the strength to cope with finding a wet spot on the rug (my fault);

…I’ve grown to appreciate and expect 30 minutes of playtime AFTER I’ve gone to bed;

…I’ve resolved not to feel guilty each time I put him in his crate–every time I put him in his crate;

…I’ve experienced the best of warm feelings watching him charm and bond with my mom;

…and the doggie space in my heart has increased to include this flufferbutt who now rules our home. Bailey would have adored him. I certainly do.

God bless the wonderful people of Small Paws Rescue for matching me up with Tyler. One year later and he continues to be our little sweetheart. And my little stinker.

Two Year Anniversary

Two years ago today, I met Tyler Small Paws in Phoenix Arizona.

My sweet Bailey had crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on January 15, 2010. Bailey was my heart dog. She was 13 years old when she crossed after having finally lost the battle with cancer.

I wasn’t sure I was ready for a new dog in my life when Small Paws Rescue contacted me.

Tyler's first photo

I don’t feel so good.

I first saw Tyler in a Small Paws Rescue newsletter. It was this photo, from his shelter intake record. I could tell that he was not well–can you see it? Tyler had been found on a street in Phoenix with another puppy. Both puppies were starving and both puppies had parvo virus.

They were on death row within hours of being turned in to the shelter, because that was the shelter’s policy with parvo dogs. But the shelter knew about Small Paws, and someone telephoned the Small Paws Team Leader for Arizona–who turned out to be Tyler’s Guardian Angel. He got both puppies to a veterinary clinic, and Small Paws paid for their hospitalization.

Tyler’s photo haunted me.

On the way to his new home, a potty break in a family bathroom at the Airport in Atlanta

At the end of May, 2010, I was still working through my grief for Bailey. But with thoughts of moving forward I had put myself on the Small Paws puppy list. At Small Paws, puppies are reserved first for people who are grieving. About a month after Tyler was rescued, I got an email asking me, did I want to adopt a puppy?

When I realized that it was the little parvo pup that had already been living rent-free in my head, it was a no-brainer! Plus, I was already on my way west on a business trip. With a little extra money, I was able to re-route my flight home to stop for a night in Phoenix and pick Tyler up from his foster mom (God bless you, Mikele, for all you do for the Fluffs!). This was meant to be.

Tyler, asleep on my hotel bed in Phoenix

Tyler was a skinny scrap of a pup. He was very underweight and his hair was cut very short to make it easier for the dogtors to deal with his illness. But I didn’t mind how he looked. From the first moment, he was so sweet and loving and I marveled that a creature who had received such a terrible start in life–abandoned, starved, sick–could still have the capacity to love. I get teary-eyed when I think of how he cuddled up to me that very first day, and trusted me to take care of him. I won’t betray that trust.

I think Bailey sent him to me.

Here’s how Tyler looks today….

Mr. Tyler, trying to tempt me to play instead of work.



My little snugglebug!


With one of his favorite toys.


Goofy boy!

He only weighs 8-pounds, but he’s the living heart of our home. I love you Tyler.

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