Every once in a while, a new invention for dogs comes along that has dog owners scratching their heads and wondering, Now, why didn’t I think of that? The BooBooLoon is one such brilliant invention: It’s an inflatable “recovery collar” designed for Spot to wear so s/he won’t bother any wounds that need time to heal.
OK, so it has acute name – don’t hold that against it. This isa seriously cool item that really works – and it’sallowed a lot of dogs (and their people) to rest easier after major surgery at the vet.
How many times have you cursed your dog’s E-collar, shorthand for Elizabethan collar, that conelike contraption that only seems to do more harm than good? Some dogs have the patience of saints and tolerate E-collars justfine; but some spend all day figuring out how toslip off the cone, or bypassitandlick or chew attheir wounds, whileothers (like my dog Tiki) simplywon’t tolerate the claustrophobic feeling of wearing one, period.
Many Dogsters canremember when E-collars were made of opaque, white plastic, but even the newer generation of clear plasic models are not most dogs’ favorite thing to wear. And no wonder: They restrict a dog’s vision, hearing,and mobility, making the wearer feel terribly vulnerable. It’s sad to watch a dog trying to navigate a simple walk while wearing an E-collar, bumping into things and pitifullystopping-and-starting the whole time.
An E-collar is just one of those unpleasant facts of life we dog lovers came to accept. All but one of us, that is.
Marcy Colangelo of Florida had enough of subjecting her beloved Boxer, Mitzi, now 9, to what she disdainfully refers to as “that unwieldy contraption.”Sadly, Mitzi has struggled with cancer for most of her life; she had her first operation, to remove a mast cell tumor, when she was still a puppy, followedby seven major surgeries over the years. Happily,that long battlewith cancerinspired Marcy tocreate an E-collar alternative that is now helping thousands of dogs like Mitzirecover from surgery with less stress.
“She is the reason I came out with this product,” Marcy says. “She’s had so many surgeries, and I just couldn’t stand leaving that cone on her. It was like putting her head in a tunnel. So I took it off her and stood vigil, watching her. I’m a softy; Iwantedmy dogto be able to sleep and eat and drink while shewas mending- not have more stress!”
But standing vigil over a recovering dog isn’t always an option. So two years ago,Marcy took her own favorite travel pillow and carefully pinned it to Mitzi’s neck. And that “aha” moment was how she came up with the idea of an inflatable collar that would actually improve life for animals recovering from surgery. “I focused all my energy on trying to make something for Mitzi that would work,” Marcy says.
After a solid year of experiment,development, and prototype testing, the inflatable BooBooLoon was born. The sign that herinvention was a success? “Mitzi didn’t even know she was wearing it!” Marcy says with pride. Mitzi has wornthecollar she inspiredas long as four weeks straight.
Instead of spending all day dejected or frustrated, dogs wearing the BooBooLooncan relax, restand recover– and less stress is known to help anyone, canine or human, get well sooner. “After you put it on them, they walk around and they have no clue; all they know is,whenI liedown all of a suddenthere’s a comfy pillow under my chin. With this, they can pretty much live a good quality of life while they’re healing.”
The ultimate proof that the BooBooLoon has improved the lives of dogs and their owners is in the mail – the snail mail. “We get handwritten letters from pet owners thanking us for making the product – nowadays for anybody to sit down and write a letter is pretty amazing,” Marcy concludes. “That’s very rewarding, it really is.”
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