Thursday, June 3, 2010

Manners Minder

As temperatures rise, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep the dogs cool in my Honda Fit when we train. There are too many windows and not easily covered with reflective tarps. I was getting tired of putting a big dirty box fan and hot, panting dogs into my nice car to fog up and smudge the windows while drooling on the interior. That is why I have a van. Reagan, ready or not, it is time to get back into the van.

Along with soundproofing, we made a few changes for Reagan. We took out everything that makes noise. Nothing hangs on the walls. No key chains or extra keys jingle from my key. We replaced the wire crates with soft sided crates.And we have employed this little gem.... the Manners Minder.This invention holds kibble and dispenses it via remote control, at a set number of seconds, or at random intervals. It can dispense 1 piece of kibble or multiple pieces of kibble. The settings are endless.... good thing Reagan is one of my kibble eaters.My preference is to use the Manners Minder to dispense kibble to Reagan with the remote control when encounter rough roads or are passed by other noisy vehicles. It allows me to keep my eyes on the road and my shoulder in the socket. In the past, I would toss treats to Reagan, but the repetitive motion did not feel healthy for my shoulder. This little machine keeps Reagan focused and entertained on our trips with just the press of a button.

The Manners Minder has been very useful for local trips. Reagan is always very excited to go and loads willingly. She is most nervous when I start the engine, back out of the driveway, and leave the neighborhood.... I am not sure why, but she will leap to her feet and circle around. She appears to settle down after a few minutes and then will occasionally have bad moments. All in all, she has managed our trips to and from the agility field and training building fairly well.