POWDER PUPS - Rocky Mountain News
* The dilemma: Just because Fido doesn't get to hit the slopes with you doesn't mean he can't express allegiance to his favorite ski resort - but your Vail baseball cap is just a little too big for him.
* The fix: Spiffy Dog's Ski Mountain Air Collar
* Why it works: If your dog's partial to Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone, Steamboat or Vail, he can show it via this nylon mesh-like collar, which is so lightweight (yet durable) he'll hardly know it's on. The slightly spongy collar is breathable and quick-drying.
* Bonus: The collar comes in 20 other patterns, too.
* Get it: $16; spiffydog.com
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Dog-gone ski town - Steamboat Pilot & Today
Ten years ago, the dogs’ owners, Edward Watson and John Cardillo, respectively, were making lightweight watchbands out of a quick-drying nylon “aerospacer” material. At the time, the bands were part of a line of primarily whitewater kayaking accessories that the pair produced as Fat Eddy’s Threadworks.
“John said to me, ‘Make my dog a collar out of that,’ and I laughed at him, but then we ended up adding it to the Fat Eddy’s line,” Watson said.
It didn’t take long for Watson and Cardillo to feel the power of the mighty pet industry and the demand for their breathable Air Collar. It remains the cornerstone of a product line that includes other safety products, harnesses, travel bowls and toys.
After this Spiffy Dog line took off in 2002, the co-founders/owners turned it into the focus of their work. The Steamboat Outdoor Group acquired the growing business in 2006, and now Spiffy Dog (www.spiffydog.com) is distributed to more than 700 independent specialty pet stores in the U.S. and Canada.
But the original impetus for the business — keeping their dogs happy — is what keeps the product line growing.
“We’d be disconnected from our people if we lived in a city,” Cardillo said of the local core market. “Folks will be dropping in with ideas all the time.”
Watson’s own passion for hunting and his experience with Fat Eddy’s ski patrol harnesses helped him develop ideas like the Shock Collar Remote Control Harness in Spiffy Dog’s new Hunter Dog line.
Although most of the manufacturing is now done overseas, the prototypes are born out of a sales office/manufacturing space only a stone’s throw from the Yampa River. Near the same river pool, in fact, where Spiffy Dog hosts the ever-popular Crazy River Dog challenge every June at the Yampa River Festival and where a new crop of aquatic mountain dog jumpers find themselves wishing for a quick-drying collar.
“Can you imagine life without dogs?” Watson posed. “I can’t — they keep your sanity and drive you crazy at the same time.”
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