Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Trade Show Round-up
One of the perks (well, I call it a perk) of working in the pet-retail business is getting paid to go to pet trade shows. Apparently, there are a lot of them, and they are veritable pet-swag extravaganzas. Wow, you're saying to yourself - how can you stand the excitement?
The trade show I went to a few weekends ago called itself the Global Pet Expo and was held at the San Diego Convention Center, better known as the site of that massive geek-fest, Comic-Con. And while the Global Pet Expo was NO Comic-Con, Samantha (my trade-show date, above) and I spent six hours handling plush toys, admiring crazy dog-related gadgets and filling up our complimentary Pet Expo bag with scads of free loot. It was a good day.
Here are some of the more interesting items I picked up:
Petfinder Lost Pet Retrieval System - This $20 phone service allows you to keep updated I.D. info attached to your dog in case he gets lost. A phone number on the back of the included tag connects the caller to a phone message you personalize yourself: "Thank you for finding ________ ! He/she is friendly/bite-y/treat obsessed and likes/hates/needs ___________ ," etc. and then automatically dials a contact number. The system stores up to two other contact numbers if someone can't be reached with the first one.
I like that you can change any of your information stored on the system at any time, and it's instant - no changing tags when you move, or attaching a temporary tag when you're traveling. Also, the person who finds your dog never has access to your actual information because the system dials itself. The $20 is a one-time, lifetime fee, and if you like, you don't have to use the Pet Finder tag: just have the number engraved on a tag of your own. Nice.
Tick Twister - Looks like a mini rake and pulls those nasty ticks right out, totally intact (in other words, with their heads still attached). Fan-tastic!
Muttrooms - My aunty keeps telling me about the health benefits of the reishi mushroom and how it has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries - now you can get it in a dog biscuit! These actually contain a blend of five certified-organic shrooms, and claim to be very good for the pooch.
Pegetables - These fake mini veggies also claim to be healthy, and why wouldn't they with ingredients like mono and diglycerides, menadione sodium bisulfite complex and pyridoxine! Yuck. But the shapes are hilarious, especially the baby corn. I love baby corn.
American Flag Puppia Harness - These are great harnesses, but really - the American flag? Maybe it's an election-year special. The funny part about it is that the company is owned by Koreans. (Who love America, apparently.)
Freeze-Dried Lamb Steak - Stella and Chewy's treats are very healthy, but if I made snacks that looked like this, I would not put them in a clear plastic bag. They remind me of the disks I put under the sofa legs to keep them from scratching the floor.
Pet Greens - A plant-in-a-bag for apartment dwellers. You add water and a little patch of organic grass grows right out of the bag. I wonder if you could mow it down and use it in a smoothie.
Ray Tail - Ray, as in stingray. Or manta ray. Actually, the sales guy didn't know what kind of ray this came from, but assured me it was harvested from one that had been caught for another purpose. They're remainders, if you will. Supposedly these bully-stick alternatives are chock full of the same kinds of vitamins found in shark cartilage, which benefits joints and soft tissue. But I don't care - they smell like feet.