Riding in the car part 2 – Crate reviews

If you read my last two posts over on the Stroller Brigade website, then you know we’ve been experimenting with crates for the car. Mom finally figured out that what I hate about being in the car is being in a little bitty PTU, no matter how much I like that same PTU when it’s sitting on the living room floor or how easy it is to get me to go into it to start with. We went through three crates before we found one I liked and that Mom could manage easily with her hands that don’t work real well.

Candy trying out the crate. It was furry comfy.

Crate #1 was the Pet Gear The Other Door Steel Crate with Plush Pad and Carry Bag. We all loved it when Mom first assembled it. It was easy to put together, and opened from the front, sides, or top. It came with a nice comfy bed and a carry bag that could be used to transport the crate when it was taken apart or could be used for my stuff. We thought it was perfect. That is, until Mom tried to move it with me in it. For our trial run, Mom put me in the crate, carried me and the crate out to the car, and put us in. Suddenly, the doors which had worked perfectly in the house suddenly wouldn’t stay closed. Mom kept trying to get them lined up right to shut and just couldn’t.

Mom decided to take me for a ride anyway just to see how I reacted to being in the car when I was free to get up, walk around some, and see out the windows. I didn’t cry once! I was too busy watching the world go by. So the idea of a crate was a success (so far) but the crate itself wasn’t. What Mom figured out when we got home was that when she lifted the crate, the clamps that held the top on had come loose so the top wasn’t tight enough to keep the side doors closed. The plan was to have a crate that could be easily removed from the car for potty stops (Mom refuses to leave alone in the car even for a 5 minute stop). A crate the kept coming apart when it was lifted was no good. so back it went. This crate is good if you don’t have to move it with the pet in it.

Crate #2 was the Nature’s Miracle™ AdvancedSingle Door Port-A-Crate. It’s a soft-sided crate with a metal framework that collapses for storage. It set up easily, but had no bed in it. Also, it was difficult to take down. One of the parts had a metal button you had to push in so a part could slide over it, and Mom had a terrible time with that button. Her poor hands couldn’t manage it. So this one went back to the store, too. But the price was good, and everything else about the crate was good, so we’d still recommend it if it doesn’t have to come apart too often. Sorry, Mom forgot to take a picture of this one.

Crate #3 – success! It’s another model by Pet Gear, the same people who made my stroller. It’s the Pet Gear Generation II Deluxe Portable Soft Crate. This is also a soft-sided crate with a collapsible metal frame. It has roll up windows and sides to get in and out or you can unzip the top. It came with a bed (though not as nice a bed as the one in the hard crate) and a waterproof liner to put under the bed in case of accidents. It also has a pouch on top for your stuff and a bag on the side. The side bag can carry more of your stuff or hold the bed and liner for storage. Although Mom put extra comfy cushions in there for us, she could still fold it up without taking out the beds or the liner. The handle of the side bag comes off and can be used as a leash.

The mechanism in this crate for collapsing the frame was much easier for Mom to operate. She still had to push buttons, but they’re large plastic buttons and much easier to push. Nothing slides over anything. The frame is jointed and folds up. We didn’t get pictures of the car ride I took in this crate (you can read that adventure here) but did get some pictures at home.

Exploring my new crate. You can see the top and side pouches.
Treasure and me relaxing in the crate. See the extra cushions mom put in under the bed that came with it?
On the back patio enjoying some fresh air. If you biggify the picture and make your screen really bright you can see me in there.

So this is the crate I’m taking to go to BlogPaws. I’ve never been on such a long car ride before. Mom’s hoping that since my 3 1/2 hour outing was such a success, I’ll tolerate the car ride as I won’t be squished into a PTU. Wish us luck!


The Official Relaunch of My Blog

All three of us in one picture. It doesn't happen very often. We're examining a new nip toy from Colorado Catnip.

I’ve been working on my new blog for about a week. It’s starting to look like a blog and not like a mess, but I still have a long way to go. I would love your feedback on how things look and how I can improve my blog.

I’d also like to make some changes to my content. The first change is I’d like to start a new feature – guest bloggers. I would love to have a guest blog once a week, but that will take time to build up to. For now I’ll count myself lucky to start out with a guest blogger once a month. Let me know in a comment if you’d like to do a guest blog.

Not sure what other changes I’d like to make. I guess a good blog is always evolving. It will be interesting to see what the next year brings.

Speaking of years, my 2nd and EK’s 1st birthday are coming up in a couple of weeks. So in honor of our birthdays, and to help launch my new blog, I want to do a giveaway. But this one will be different. I want all my pals to be able to enter no matter where they live or what kind of animal they are. So, the winner will receive a $20 USD gift certificate to their favorite pet store. The store must have the ability to allow me to buy the gift certificate online and send it by email. That’s just part one of my giveaway.

Now for part two. In honor of BlogPaws having been this weekend, and the commitment I made last year at BlogPaws to help Be the Change for Pets, I will also donate $20 USD to the animal charity of the winner’s  choice. How’s that for a prize? Something for you and something for your favorite animal charity!

To enter, leave a comment. One entry per pal please! Leave your comment by Saturday 5PM MT (mountain time). Then I’ll throw all the names in a virtual hat and pull one out. I’ll post the winner next Sunday.

That’s it for this week. Good luck in the drawing!