Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.

Ashley Smith

Friday, December 10, 2010

Customer Service is NOT dead!

I just wanted to write a quick note about one of the best experiences I have ever had with any company.


I know, the name is interesting isn't it?  It all started last year, when somehow, in my internet wanderings, I came upon this:

What is it??!!

Is it a Christmas ornament? no. 
Is it that little ball that jumps from word to word on the karaoke screen? no.
Spaceship? nope.

It is only the most fabulous winter toy for a deaf dog with a "play ball" obsession.  It is called the Meteorlight K-9 LED Dog Ball.  It is a basically indestructible rubber ball with an LED light inside.  so it lights up at night!!! (well it lights up during the day too, but it is a little less dramatic...)

We got the Disc-O color, which is the one that cycles through all the colors- so very cool.  The other big bonus is that it fits right into the Chuck-it ball launcher.  (if you don't know what that is, you either don't have a dog that likes to fetch or you don't mind slobber hands)

So... Awesome Possum.  My husband threw and threw it, Bear dog could always find it because it glows. (since Bear dog is deaf, if he can't see where it went, you have a 20 minute search for the toy on your hands...)  Everything was ducky, except... Bear is what they call a "power chewer".  He has destroyed everything that he can get in his mouth.  I don't think it is intentional, just another dimension of his obsession.  So there he is running back, in the dark, just a colorful light bounding our way- and the light goes off, and comes on and goes off and then kind of stutters on ... Hmmm. weird.

As a little background, to turn on the Disc-O light, you have to really (and I mean REALLY) mash on the plug that contains it.  I can't do it unless I push it on a table corner - it is that tough.  I imagine a more "normal" dog would never be able to turn it on and off, but that little boy of ours is a pain in the butt, obsessive, special.

Anyway, when he destroyed the light last year I made an email comment to the company through their website, explaining what had happened and how much we loved the toy, even though it couldn't stand up to Bear Jaw.  I wasn't at all upset, just wanted to let them know our experience.  They immediately contacted me back and sent 2 free replacement balls!  yes- that's right- 2-free! Because they believe in their products.

My husband made a slight modification to the plug, hoping to keep Bear from being able to operate the switch. It worked moderately well, but Bear's chewing gum behavior eventually killed both LEDs... ho hum, no light ball for the boy.

This year, while shopping for some option (maybe a glow in the dark, with no electronics) I was inevitably drawn back to the Meteorlight- it really is that cool.  I posted another comment to the company explaining that we loved it and wished it were appropriate for our dog.  Once again, they contacted me with an offer to replace the ball for free with any of their other LED products!! I gave them a couple of suggestions for bear-proofing that we had thought of and we arrived at a mutually acceptable resolution for this winter.

I am Wowed by this company- so friendly, so on the ball (no pun intended!) and so willing to work with a customer- simply fantastic.  So, check out their website- they have all kinds of cool stuff there, even an astronaut pen - like from the Seinfeld episode, "Take the pen!, No, I couldn't, Take it!" (although this is the Inka Pen you can still write upside down)

and here is a picture of the destroyer sweet little boy all this work has been for:

Bear boy
I know, right?  He doesn't look like he could chew the crap out of anything...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Bison are here! The Bison are here!

Well, really they have been here for almost 3 weeks...

I have been hoping to get better photos of them, but this is what I have and it seems better than waiting!

Bison herd in our holding pen!
 We have 7 total in our little herd: 
1 yearling bull, 2 yearling heifers and 4 heifer calves (sooooooo cute with their little horns!). 

All in all it has been pretty uneventful, which is good, and way more fun than I even imagined it would be.

We were very concerned that they would be frightened and storm around and run through the fences with smoke coming out of their nostrils and fire in their eyes.  Um... not so much. 

We kept them in our round pen (covered with landscape fabric so they couldn't see out and be terrified of trees, dogs?, squirrels? ... I don't even know what, but we protected them from it!  so the photo above was taken by me, laying on the freezing cold snow, and holding my camera under the bottom rung of our pen- yes anything for a photo!

We were told that we should flag all the fencing so that they could see the boundaries and not feel like they were home, home on the range.  So we did.  I am not sure if that is what is keeping them in, but it sure looks festive!!!

They really have fit right into our little ranch, the horses were actually more upset than they were once everyone was out and about in their respective pastures.  And of course, sheep and goats don't give a crap about much of anything, as long as there is hay to eat.

Against better judgment, I named everyone, but I can't really tell one from the other, so it is kind of a non-issue.

some bison reality:
  1. No, you don't getta pet 'em.
  2. No, I will not be brushing them to collect fiber to spin and selling high dollar bison yarn
  3. Boys and girls have horns
  4. They may be wild animals, but that doesn't mean they don't like to sleep on nice thick bedding (in this case hay they haven't eaten)
  5. They really don't care if you call them bison or buffalo, as long as you are feeding them while you are doing it.
 Well that's their story for now.  Hopefully I will motivate myself to take some more pictures this weekend and post them next week!

One more photo, from the pen at the ranch where we got them.  Can you see the fire in her eye?