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Tag: utility

Nissan unveils a car (in concept) for dogs

It’s not being manufactured yet, but, if it were, there would probably be people lining up for this ultra dog-friendly Nissan.

The Nissan X-Trail 4Dogs, or Rogue as it’s known in the U.S., features dog bed, no-spill water bowl, automatic treat dispenser, clip on harness hooks, a slide out ramp, a shower and dryer and a two-way cam, allowing the driver in the front and the dog in the back to watch each other.

woof in advertisingThose last parts might be a bit much. (Not all dog tech, in our view, is good tech). But for the most part, these are some great ideas.

It’s all just a concept at this stage, developed by Nissan’s European division, Motor Trend reports.

And concepts, while they might get great mileage, won’t get you to the store.

Only of the concept car’s pet-specific features is currently available for purchase as a Nissan accessory: the dog guard above the rear seats.

Nissan-X-Trail-4DogsWhat’s the point of showing us a concept when the car’s not available?

For one thing, it helps create buzz and demand. For another, it lets us think such companies are thinking about us, even if it their project is mostly on the drawing board still. It also allows a company to show us a dream version, so vestiges of that image remain in our heads if and when the real one comes out.

Hopefully, the real thing — if it hits the market — will have a price some of us can actually afford, and will include something more than a $1,000 dog bowl. We’d suggest losing the automatic treat dispenser, too, and the dog-to-pilot cam and communication system.

It’s good to be able to keep an eye on your dog without fiddling with the rear view mirror. But do we really need to have our voices broadcast to them, all the way to the back seat? Do we really need to see them constantly on a 7-inch dashboard display?

And to they really need to see us, on a 10-inch LED screen in the cargo area?

It’s a little Big Brothery.

Nissan says the cargo area is meant to accommodate up to two dogs, but it looks to me like two large dogs would have to be crammed in. It’s even a little tight for a large and a medium.

All the doggie components were designed to be easily removed to free up cargo space for other items when the dog is not traveling with the family. The pet-friendly setup doesn’t interfere with accessing the vehicle’s spare tire, Nissan says.

The built-in shower and ramp are brilliant, and all in all a vehicle like this — at a reasonable price — could give Subaru a run for its money when it comes to the dog-friendliest cars.

So thanks for the video of what could be, Nissan, but don’t tease us. Get to work and give us the real deal.

(Woof in Advertising is a recurring ohmidog! feature that looks at how dogs are used in marketing. You can find earlier posts in this archived collection.)

DOGgerel: The sanctimonious squirrel

Squirrels Will be Squirrels

You think you’re big and tough and bold
You chased me up a power pole
But can you run this fast, in fact?
Let’s see your high wire act

You can’t climb or leap from trees
Or use a branch as your trapeze
Up on rooftops you can’t dance
Your grounded life has no romance

You’re slow and fat, a big old lug
Be you retriever, Chow or pug
Down there you pant and drool and pace
Too dumb to know you’ve lost the race

Nuts to you, and all your ilk
I’m fast as lightning, smooth as silk
All you can do is sit there crying
While I’m up here — electrifying

(From time to time I have an argument with the poet within me. “I want to come out,” the poet within will say. “No,” I tell him. “Stay where you are, because you’re not that good.”

(Sometimes, the poet within wins. To read all his verse, click on the logo to the left.)

(Photo: ohmidog!)

A special jacket for dog walking?

When it comes to the “K-Rosco Utility Jacket,” custom made for dog walking, I’m torn, which is something that’s probably never going to happen to the jacket … what with its “rip-stop, wind-resistant and waterproof fabric and special seam sealing.”

The yuppie in me wants one. The cynical/rational/broke side of me — not so much.

A special coat for dog walking? What could be sillier? But then I think about all the pocket shuffling I go through on the average trip to the dog park — where did I put the leash? My keys? The cell phone? The poop bags? The treats? The water bottle?

Chances are, some of those are still in the other jacket back home, still hanging on the hook.

My general procedure, when heading to the park with the dog, is to pick the coat that’s the dirtiest and wear it, for it is only going to get dirtier. I won’t mention any names, but there are dogs that like to jump up on me. Usually though, I ask for it. Once there, I forget what I have in which pocket. The only sure rule is that the item I require will be in the last pocket I search.

So yes, Easter Bunny, I would probably make excellent use of the K-Rosco Utility Jacket with it’s everything-in-its-place sensibility, not to mention its “versatility, functionality and fashion.” I would probably make use of all four jackets it converts into — one for winter, spring summer and fall.

I’m quite sure it would protect me from “the bitter chill of winter (full jacket), unpredictable rains of spring and fall (lightweight shell), to the heat of summer (lightweight vest) — and that its “reflective piping” will increase my odds of getting across the street without being mowed down on those late evening excursions.

After a brief learning period, I’m sure I’d get to the point where I would know at once to go to the specially designed cargo pocket for an extractable poop pick-up bag, to the pocket with the removable plastic pocket liner for the dog treats, and where to locate my retractable coil key clip, and mesh water bottle holder, and so on. And the time might come as well that I needed to make use of its belt, which converts into an extra leash, or can be rigged for hands-free dog walking.

The dogwalker’s jacket is made by Let’s Go Designs, Inc. which says it is “dedicated to offering products that enhance the relationship and responsibility between dog owners and their ‘best friends.’” A noble cause — even if it does mean we have come to this: Not just special clothing for our dogs, but special clothing we wear when we are with our dogs.

Then there’s this: It sells for $265.

It seems absurd, on one hand. On the other, I want it.