Get Your Dog's Rear in Gear
When I first saw the website for Rear Gear, I thought it had to be a joke. I prayed it was a joke. Please let it be a joke! Here's how it's marketed:
Is your pet feeling left in the dirt because of his/her unsightly rear? Ive got them covered... Rear Gear is handmade in Portland, OR and offers a cheerful solution to be-rid your favorite pets un-manicured back side.
I had to get to the bottom of this. Was a dog the affectionate butt of a joke? Or is this product for real? After blogging about dog and cat washing machines a couple of days ago, anything seemed possible.
So I contacted Lauren Shumaker, who created these butt covers for dogs and cats. Before I tell you what she said, here's a photo of three happy dogs wearing Rear Gear.
There are also a variety of designs, in case your dog isn't the flower-power kind of guy. You can even have one custom made. Keep scrolling past the designs to find out if Lauren is serious about wanting to cover your dog's heinie.
Spoiler: It turns out -- whew! -- Rear Gear is just a novelty. I just wanted to put that out there before people started making snarly comments. Here's part of my conversation with Lauren:
MG: What inspired Rear Gear?
LS: My roommate's cat would always jump on my lap when I was working on homework (MG note: Lauren was a civil engineering student when she created this last year) and show me her goods. I wasn't super pleased, and realized most cats love to do the same thing. I also have three dogs. I thought it would be funny to make something that made light of the topic, as most pet owners would know exactly what I was talking about.
MG: Is this more of a joke, or is it something you think people would really want as a serious fashion statement -- or both?
LS: I created it as a novelty or joke, but some people have had their pets sport it. I don't encourage people keeping it on their pet for long periods of time or when they are unsupervised, but it is harmless when it is worn for a few minutes at a time. Like I said though, it's a novelty, and should be used as such.
MG: What are the tags made of? Does one size fit all tails?
LS: The tags are made of recycled styrene, a satin cord and a cord adjustor. They are one size fits all. The work by slipping the cord over the tail, and gently tightening it down.
MG: Are they, er, washable, in case of accidents?
LS: They are definitely washable and easily can be rinsed off if any accidents occur.
MG: Are there any breeds that don't do well with this?
LS Not really. Really large tails actually are worse than nubs, as they tend to overwhelm the little plastic piece, but I have a dog with a nub and he loves it!
MG: How do dogs and cats react to having something dangling over their nether-ish regions?
LS: It depends on your pet. Two of my dogs didn't even notice it was there, and one did. Cats obviously don't like it very much, but like I said before, it's for fun, not for function. Give it to your favorite pet lover, I guarentee they will get a good laugh.
MG: What's been the reaction so far?
LS: Most people think it's hilarious. I do, once in a while, get a few people who insist on being the bully as they don't realize it's made for fun.
Rear Gear tags are $6 each, including shipping in the continental US The Rear Gear website offers additional styles.