None of these pictures (or dogs) are mine. I got them from the Skookum Dog web site.

I almost never turn down dog gear samples. As a result I’ve got a dog who loves the FedEx delivery person and, in large part thanks to all the times I used “box games” in search training drills, loves to tear open boxes. It was pretty handy to have shredded boxes when it came time to go to recycling, but I can’t let him do it any more because I fear for the boxes’ contents and for Geardog’s gums. Cardboard cuts can’t feel good.

In addition to the duffel bag I already talked about, Skookum Dog sent Geardog a sampling of their wares and we were really excited about it. Geardog was most excited about the Bat Dog Toy. I knew this one wouldn’t last all that long, because plushy, fuzzy dog toys really tend to get ripped to pieces pretty quickly, but Geardog really did love it and it’s not quite dead yet, even weeks later. He did chew the ears off of it, but hasn’t gutted it, which is nice. He was really into the bat shape, especially when we held the bat body and made it “flap” by waving it up and down while moving it across the room. I think most dog toys are shaped like little wingless creatures so maybe the novelty of “catching” a flying one really made him stoked. Who knows, in any case, cute toy and Geardog loves it. We also tried:

Summit Bed

The Summit Bed was the thing I was most excited about. A bolstered bed with a memory foam base, it seemed like just the thing to have around for a working dog who loves to sleep during his time off. I had ideas about putting the Summit Bed in my truck so Geardog could be super comfy hanging out while I ski, but I quickly found out that wasn’t going to work in an Alaskan winter – memory foam freezes solid! So this one is a bed for the house and the house only.

I have to say that it hasn’t been a huge hit with Geardog. I’m not sure why. He prefers his many other beds, or even, my bed, which is also conveniently enough made out of memory foam. The Summit Bed has really been taken over by the cats. Geardog really loves bolstered beds so I’m not sure why he’s not living in the thing. I think it might be a little too big for him to really snuggle into it. The Summit Bed is sized for a much bigger dog. It also might be that the cats have claimed it. It’s equally possible that, given the two memory foam human beds and the three other dog beds he has to choose from, he just hasn’t gotten around to the Summit Bed yet. Who knows? It seems comfortable to me, and I like that it’s made in the USA and has a lot of cool features, my favorite being the zip-off faux sheepskin topper. I love that you can just zip it off and wash it, instead of disassembling the entire bed for cleaning. Speaking of disassembling, if you get this bed, do yourself a favor and watch the “Assembling the Summit Bed” video. We didn’t, and we struggled mightily to get the thing together. I really like it, and though I’m glad the cats are getting some use out of it, I might give it to a friend with a bigger pooch who would really put it to use. Sorry cats. It’s a DOG bed.

Safety Light

We live in Alaska, where it’s very dark most of the year. Geardog has a light permanently attached to his collar at all times so he’s visible. He’s a dark dog, so he blends in. I liked the Skookum Safety Light for its solid collar attachment (it mounts right to the collar instead of dangling on a hook) and its super bright light. I found it a little difficult to operate with gloves on because of its twist on/off style, but once it’s on, it’s on. The Safety Light comes in red or white – we have it in red.

Skookum has a growing selection of doggie gear including a few other beds, some toys, and lots of gear organizers. Made in the USA is always a plus for Americans and for the planet, I think. I hope they can make a go out of keeping their manufacturing in the US. The odds are against them, but it’s good to see someone try at least.