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Tag: doghouse

$30,000 doghouse features treadmill, hot tub, TV screen and snack dispenser

Samsung Dream Doghouse.  EDITORIAL USE ONLYGracie, a terrier cross, tries out the Samsung Dream Doghouse created by the tech firm to celebrate their sponsorship of Crufts 2015 - which starts on Thursday 5th March at The NEC Birmingham.  Issue date: Wednesday March 4, 2015. The architect designed dog kennel, which features a Samsung Tab S entertainment wall, astro turfed treadmill and paw operated snack dispenser, took 12 designers over six weeks to create in the aim to represent the ultimate in luxury canine living. The Samsung Dream Doghouse will be on display at Crufts, which Samsung has been sponsoring for over 20 years. Photo credit should: David Parry/PA Wire URN:22410646

Here’s a swingin’ dog pad — or maybe dog pod is a better term — and it only costs $30,000.

Samsung’s Dream Doghouse, on exhibit  this week at Crufts, comes complete with an AstroTurf-covered treadmill, hydrotherapy pool, entertainment wall, and paw-controlled snack dispenser.

What,  no fireplace? No bar? No dim-able lights?

International Business Times reports that a team of 12 designers and builders collaborated on the project, which took six weeks to complete.

“The Samsung Dream Doghouse looks sleek and modern, featuring the kind of tech the discerning dog of the future will need,” Andy Griffiths, president of Samsung Electronics in the U.K. and Ireland, said in a press release.

“From dogs who have social media profiles, to owners who use video calling to check on their pet while away, technology is fast becoming an integral part of everyday life,” he added.

(Too fast, we think.)

You can’t order one just yet — Samsung only made one of the “dream houses” and gave it away via a social media contest.

But they’re hoping it will create a buzz at the Crufts Dog Show, which runs March 5-8 at Birmingham, England’s National Exhibition Centre. Samsung is one of the dog show’s sponsors.

Griffiths said the company surveyed 1,500 dog owners and found that a quarter of them wanted their pets to have their own treadmill, as well as a tablet or TV. Of the dog owners surveyed, 64% believed their pets would benefit from more technology and gadgets, and 18% said they’d like their furry companion to have a hot tub.

The doghouse has a vinyl wall that can be covered with photos. On the opposite wall, there’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab S tablet — not so much because dogs can’t live without them, but because Samsung makes them.

So let’s review. The dog of the future will ensconce himself in a plastic pod, and watch videos, and soak in the spa, helping himself to treats whenever he wants one, but having the option to stay in shape by running on artificial grass while getting nowhere.

If that’s the dog of the future, I prefer to remain in the past.

(Photo: Gracie, a terrier cross, tries out the Samsung Dream Doghouse created by the tech firm to celebrate their sponsorship of Crufts 2015; by David Parry / PA Wire)

Homeless man finds shelter — for his dog


Disliking all the rules that come with staying in a homeless shelter — especially the ones that prohibit dogs — Bernard Holland chose homelessness over doglessness.

He’d arrived in indianapolis a few weeks before Thanksgiving, stayed with family until that turned sour, then — as temperatures plummeted — pitched a tent in what’s known as The Jungle, a homeless camp just east of downtown.

That’s where a social worker ran into him and his two-year-old mutt, Oreo, on a night temperatures were dropping below zero.

Now, one of them, at least, is staying warm.

oreoIf you guessed the dog, you’re right.

When Ben Bierlein, owner of Wigglebutt Doghouse, heard of the pair’s plight, he offered to take Oreo in and foster her at the daycare and boarding facility.

“To us, the real story here is about a man, although down on his luck and living in a tent, who would not give up on his dog,” Bierlein explained to the Indianapolis Star.

“The fact that he was willing to gut it out in sub-zero temperatures because he didn’t want to leave his dog — that’s pretty powerful. With the myriad of reasons people surrender their dogs to shelters, Bernard would have had a very valid reason, but he loves Oreo; she means the world to him.”

Bierlein, after being contacted by the social worker who came across Holland and Oreo — Melissa Burgess of  Horizon House – offered to care for Oreo during the cold snap. He also paid to get Oreo up to date on shots and to be spayed.

Normally, that would allow Holland to get a slot at a homeless shelter. But he’s still living outside — at least partly by choice.

Holland says he’ll continue to make his home in a tent, unless the nights get too unbearably cold. He says he’s put off by the early curfew and other rules of homeless shelters, and considers them a last resort.

He has enrolled in Opportunity Knocks classes through Horizon House, and he hopes to find a job as a painter or janitor. Horizon House is also trying to help him find affordable housing where Oreo, who he has had since she was four months old, would be welcome.

Holland, 53, said he once operated his own drywall business in Chicago, but in 1992 he was shot at random by two teens as part of their gang initiation and had to undergo multiple surgeries.

Now, he says, he just wants to “get Oreo back, have a roof over my head and have a job and do the right thing in life. I’m not looking to be rich, just live a happy life.”

He plans to hop on the bus and visit Oreo regularly until they are reunited.

Meanwhile, ”Oreo is putting smiles on all of the faces here,” the owner of Wigglebutt said. “She is adorable, the biggest sweetheart — and she has made lots of new four-legged friends. She’s very dog-social. If you could watch her during the day, you’d think she’s been coming to doggie day care for years.”

(Photo: Mike Fender / The Star)

Hank gets his own house


Hank, the former stray dog who has become the unofficial mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers, has gotten his own house inside Miller Park.

The dog, adopted by the team after he wandered into their spring training camp in Arizona, will use the house for appearances, photo opps, and perhaps to get some rest — in between his duties – when he’s inside the stadium.

hankapWhile Hank goes home at night with Marti Wronski, vice president and general counsel for the Brewers, the team considers him the fan’s dog. So he needed someplace cozy to stay during games — a home base, so to speak.

The “Hank House” is a one-bedroom, Cape Cod-style, with an attached yellow slide. It was built by the Brewers architect.

“It took about two weeks to construct, and I think people will have fun with it,” Brewers COO Rick Schlesinger told WISN. “People just love Hank (and we’re) trying to make it a more habitable environment for him at Miller Park. And I think he’s going to like his house very much.”

The doghouse will be moved during the season to various parts of the stadium, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Hank, who has been a huge hit with Brewers fans, will soon be starring in a video, and, along with all the Hank merchandise already available, a bobblehead version of him is expected to go on sale in September.

(Photo: Top, Hank’s new doghouse inside Milwaukee’s Miller Park / WISN; bottom, Hank in Arizona, by Morry Gash / Associated Press )

Done with Dundalk, the dog and I move on

Gotta love Dundalk.

It’s Baltimore at its blue collar, unpretentious best, and it’s where, as our wandering continues, we’ve hung our hat (and leash) for the past three days as we attempt to figure out what to do next.

Once again, we were in the home of an ex (no bridge-burner me) — a modest little house on a traffic circle, across the street from the Dog House, a  to-go restaurant painted highway stripe yellow that serves up hot dogs, burgers and greasy breakfast sandwiches that I eat on the front porch as Ace and his better-than-ever friend Fanny frolic in the front yard.

We sleep on the couch, wake up to the best kind of coffee (already made), take daily walks down to Bear Creek and spend most of the time on the front porch, writing.

Ace and Fanny alternately wrestle and rest in the shade, and Fanny always leaps up and runs along the fence when a motorcycle, boat on a trailer, or skateboarder passes by — those apparently being among her triggers.

We’ve gotten to know Brutus, a six-month old, but already huge, chocolate lab next door who likes to jump on (but not over, yet) the chain link fence, dangling his paws over the top rail and leaning as if to say, “C’mon over, let’s talk for a while.”

We’ve watched as the school buses roll by, and fresh-faced students head to bus stops, falling into the routine of another school year. One paused at the fence — a Mountain Dew in one hand, an open and half eaten plastic bowl of microwaveable macaroni and cheese in the other, her requisite blue uniform shirt open to display more cleavage than I would think her school would deem appropriate – and asked me for a cigarette.

“Fresh out,” I replied.

In Dundalk, people say what they mean, mean what they say, and wear what they want. If they’re feeling crabby, they show it (especially in the traffic circle), and if they’re feeling friendly, they show that, too.

Today, Ace and I bid farewell to Fanny and head back to the old ‘hood — South Baltimore, where I’ll stay again with my schoolteacher friends for a couple of days before heading to another friend’s home nearby for a few days more. She’s going to the beach, and her cat needs feeding. Even though her cat hissed at me the last time I fed it — and after I fed it, no less — I quickly volunteered for the job.

Our time in Dundalk has been peaceful, work-friendly and comfortable, but one shouldn’t overstay one’s welcome — especially with an ex, even if she is your dog’s number one fan and Godmother. For ex’s move on from the shared life and start their own and, painful as it might to no longer fit into it, that’s reality.

Like the signs say, one must yield to the traffic in the circle.

The dogs of Paris (Hilton, that is)

hiltondoghouseNice digs, huh? It’s the new “mini mansion” Paris Hilton had designed and built for her dogs. It’s  a smaller version of Paris’ Beverly Hills home, right down to the miniature furniture similar to her own. The lavish doghouse also has air conditioning, “Chewy Vuitton” beds, closets, two floors, a spiral staircase and chandelier, according to the Daily Mail.

Paris has been posting photos of the  puppy palace on Twitter, probably because doesn’t exist yet. Give it time.

The luxurious house was built for Hilton’s 13 dogs, who include Marilyn Monroe, Dolce , Harajuku Bitch and Tinkerbell.

Writing on her Twitter page, the 28-year-old said: “I have to admit, I may have spoiled them a little too much. But how can I not? Just look at those sweet lil’ faces.”

A White doghouse for the White House dog

All the talk about the yet to be selected, procured or named White House Dog has gotten me to thinking: Isn’t it time to start giving some consideration to the White Doghouse?

Turns out, Stephanie Rubin is way ahead of me. Rubin, a Los Angeles landscape designer, is owner of Sustainable Pet Design and inventor of the Greenrrroof Animal Home. And with a little help from her friends she’s already built and arranged delivery of “Summa Canum, The Obama Dog Home.”

Summa Canum (Latin for “Top Dog”) has been created “to provide an appropriately sustainable and stylish home for the new leader of the free canine world.”

At the same time, the project’s aimed at introducing eco-friendly practices and materials to the American people.

On the Sustainable Design website, Rubin says public interest in the Obama dog — not yet selected, though the First Family is reportedly leaning toward a Portugese water dog — inspired her to create a dog home as a gift for the Obama family.

“As we began construction on Summa Canum, one vendor after another expressed a desire to contribute. Summa Canum is now a gift from many. Materials donated include historic wood, greenroof plants, eco-friendly paint, bio-fuel, expert advice, as well as arrangement of transportation with a rock-n-roll legend.”

Summa Canum ins’t an exact replica of the White House. But it is modeled on Greek Revivial architecture that was popular during our nation’s early years.

It is made of wood from cedar trees that President Andrew Jackson planted along the driveway of his estate, The Hermitage. After a tornado felled these trees in 1998, EarthSource Forest Products reclaimed the wood for lumber and has donated the last of it to Summa Canum.

Like her other creations, Summa Canum will have a green roof, consisting of vegetation supplied by Emory Knoll Farms, a Maryland nursery. The dog home will arrive at The White House unplanted in order to provide the Obama kids with the opportunity to get their hands dirty in their own little garden.

Third Planet Energy has arranged for delivery of Summa Canum by Neil Young, a longtime champion of environmental causes, who will haul it with his biofuel-powered 1959 Lincoln. Amoeba Music provided financial support to offset the cost of the trip.

What really happens in “the doghouse”

We all know what the phrase “in the doghouse” means, but here’s a look at what really happens once you’re inside.

It’s a nearly five-minute-long advertisement for the JC Penney jewelry department — pooh-pooed by some as “too long” — that has found a home on the internet, both on YouTube, and its own website,

I disagree with its message: that only jewelry says I love you (which may be why I — one who sees romance in the functional, i.e. tools and small appliances — have spent so much time in the doghouse myself.)

But I love the ad — all 4:45 of it. And I think it shows that, whether it’s literature, news, websites, or even advertisements, creativity and wit trump short and stupid — that, contrary to popular belief, the reading/watching public does still have an attention span (newspapers take note) when given something worth reading/watching.

Enough preaching. There are only four shopping days until Christmas, and I’ve got my eye on a window cleaning kit I think my honey will really like.