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Tag: invention

A lap that’s always there for your lap dog

lap dogA Reddit user has come up with a pretty brilliant idea for dogs who get a little anxious when their human isn’t home.

The man, who posts under the name Unoiseau, constructed an artificial lap for his lap dog.

Normally, we’d say he should have gotten a patent before he shared it with the world, but it looks like a project that anyone with an extra pair of jeans could easily accomplish at home.

The inventor didn’t specify what he stuffed the jeans with, but it seems some dirty clothes that smell like you would do the trick.

Your dog might not be convinced it’s really you, but because it looks and smells like you — or at least part of you — he might find it a comforting and reassuring place to curl up.

Unoiseau stuffed the jeans, and crossed the legs to create a pocket for his dog to lay in. The dog isn’t “totally convinced with the makeshift lap I made for him,” the dog owner said, and he looks a little confused when he’s sitting in the lap and looking at his owner across the room at the same time.

But Unoiseau is hoping the artificial lap will keep his dog from experiencing separation anxiety when he’s not there.

The Reddit post has attracted more than 15,000 upvotes and made it to front page of the site.

(Photo: Posted to Reddit by Unoiseau)

Using dog poop to power your home

poopenergyHow many times have you looked at your dog and remarked to yourself, “I wish I had his energy?”

Maybe one day soon you can, and the source of it would be — barring any digestive issues — plentiful, sustainable and renewable.

A young Swiss designer is showing off her prototype of a home appliance that converts dog poop into power.

Océane Izard, who owns three dogs, created “Poo Poo Power” as a conceptual design. “I have always believed in the potential of my dogs’ droppings,” she says.

To use the appliance, dog owners “place a biodegradable bag of dog waste inside, where sludge-eating bacteria belch out methane that is converted to power,” FastCoExist.com reports.

The electricity is stored in detachable batteries that can be used around the house.

The amount of power it produces depends on the size of the dog.

A beagle, for example, will produce between 250 and 340 grams of feces per day — enough only to run a fan for two hours, Izard says. A German shepherd, producing about twice that, could almost power your refrigerator.

Providing enough electricity to power an entire home, she says, would take about seven dogs.

Izard hopes that the appliance might change how dog owners see poop.

“For me it should not be taboo,” she says. “Dog owners pick up their dog turds every day. This is certainly an ordeal. That’s why there’s so much in the streets. But with this machine, people will want to bring (home) this precious gift that their dogs do one to two times a day.”

izardIzard isn’t the only one to consider using dog waste for power. The city of San Francisco considered a pilot program in 2006 to collect poop at dog parks and bring it to digesters, though the program didn’t move forward. Another project aims to use dog poop to power streetlights at parks.

Izard notes that, in addition to creating a renewable source of energy, the concept, practiced on a larger scale, could also help keep cities cleaner.

Paris cleans up an estimated 12 tons of dog poop from city streets every day. In the U.S., dogs produce around 10 million tons of poop each year, most of which either stays where it was dropped or goes to landfills, where it releases methane into the atmosphere. Dog waste also pollutes watersheds.

Izard thinks, rather than viewing it as an evil scourge, it’s time to make dog poop start working for us.

“My project is an opportunity to say it is possible even at a small scale,” says Izard. “The future of poop is here.”

(Photo: Oceane Izard)

New from the folks at Neuticles: Ear implants

apronThe man who invented Neuticles — those artificial testicles designed to keep a neutered dog’s manly pride and appearance intact — is back with a new product, this one designed to keep a dog’s ears erect.

Missouri inventor Gregg Miller has created ear implants for use in dogs who have had their ears cropped, only to have them flop again.

Ear cropping — generally frowned upon by the animal welfare community — is a procedure conducted mostly at the behest of breeders and the dog show crowd to get a dog’s ears to stand up straight, as called for in some kennel club breed standards.

Because the cropping process doesn’t always take, or injuries can cause an erect ear to go floppy, Miller felt the need to create a product that, once surgically implanted, would keep a dogs ears straight — something dogs probably could care less about, though their owners sometimes do.

“PermaStay Ear Implants”  are now available on Miller’s website, Neuticles.com, along with the polypropolene testicular implants (available in original, natural and ultra plus) and silicone eye implants for cats, dogs and horses.

“The direction I’m taking now is that I want to create whatever implantable device there is for pets,” Miller told Gatehouse News Service. “Then everybody will know my company is the implant company, the eyes, the ears, the testicles, and God knows whatever else.”

Miller said he began working on the ear implants about five years ago, after requests from customers.

The ear implant is a patch of  thin surgical mesh, with a plastic spine that helps support the ear. The ear implants, like Neuticles, must be installed surgically, so that the dog’s tissue actually grows around the prosthetic.

Miller admitted there was a lot of trial and error in developing the product.

“Everything would go fine at first, five or six weeks,” Miller says. “After that, these hideous infections would develop. The ear would swell up and blood and puss would spurt out. It was horrible.”

But he (sarcasm alert) bravely (end sarcasm) pressed on, and found that by using surgical mesh, further infections were avoided. The device is $400. The surgery cost is from $300 to $600. About 40 dogs have gotten the ear implants. “The dog doesn’t even know it’s there, it’s so humane,” he said.

earings01Miller, a former newspaper editor and reporter, created Neuticles about 15 years ago. The Neuticles website also features a line of merchandise, from barbecue aprons (pictured above) to earrings made out of Neuticles.

Now there’s a gift that says … God only knows.

And one you probably need about as much as your dog needs ear implants and Neuticles.

What I don’t want for Christmas

I’m going to poop on this party.

A dog collar that can open a beer bottle may be mildly funny the first time around, but I’d think the novelty would quickly wear off this novelty — even among frat boys.

On top of the whole dog-as-appliance indignity — among all the noble purposes dog serve, I wouldn’t rank opening your beer too high among them — I would think there could be safety concerns as well.

The Bark4beer website seems to say as much: “Please use with adult supervision as this product is not intended for children. Bark4Beer, L.L.C.. shall not be liable for any special or consequential damages that result from the use of, or the inability to use, the materials on this site …”

collar3attachedIf something’s not safe for children, I don’t want my dog wearing it.

The idea for the collar came at a pool party, where two young entrepreneurs were forced to use their dog’s collar to open a beer bottle’s non-twist-off top.

“After months of product testing, we are confident to release our revolutionary invention,” their website says. The inventors add, “Essentially, we can turn your favorite four-legged friend into the ultimate party animal ensuring that there is no shortage of tail at your next party.”

I’ll pass on this one, Santa.

Turning your spigot into a doggie fountain

wd_lickNot too many dogs are full-time outdoor dwellers these days, but for those who are, and even those who aren’t, here’s a product that makes good sense, especially on days as miserably steamy as yesterday.

The WaterDog hooks up to your spigot and turns on when it senses your dog approaching, spewing out some fresh water to quench his thirst.

It then turns off when your dog leaves the area.

The device helps keep your dog from drinking from a stagnant pool, keeps you from constantly having to fill the water bowl and ensures he always has water.

Its inventor came up with the idea on his daily walks with Romeo, his Great Dane. Anxious over wheter the dog was getting dehydrated, the inventor would stop and turn on spigots in front of houses under construction.waterdog

That led to Romeo walking up to any spigot he saw and waiting there for his owner to turn it on — a minor inconvenience.

“As I thought more about how much Romeo loved to drink from the spigot, I decided to build one at the house, so that he could have it all the time. This was partly out of love to Romeo but also out of laziness from me, since having a device like this would free me from the chore of keeping water available,” the inventor, a mechanical engineer, says on his website.