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Last Sunday, I spent the day at the Del Mar fairgrounds, where I visited a pet expo, home show and an event put together by the International Friesian Show Horse Association. Those are the (often) black fairy tale horses with tails that trail on the ground like wedding veils, and manes to match. My phone takes lousy photos, but you get the idea.


If you want to see how majestic these creatures really are, click here.

Having said all of that, I want to show you some items I found interesting, not at the horse show, but at the pet expo, which was my main reason for going to the fairgrounds. The home and horse shows were just happy extras.

Argos Collars

Argos hand crafts handsome dog collars made with the same Italian leather used in fine equestrian equipment. The leather is prepared with treated oils and waxes, allowing it to withstand the elements.

The collars’ decorative hardware comes in stainless steel, brass or brushed aluminum. If you want your dog to shine, semi-precious stones and crystals also are available, as well as exotic leathers. All of the collars are lined with leather, but suede also is an option.

These aren’t over-the-top collars but, rather, classic, functional and still eye catching. They’re available for large, medium and small dogs.

The Rock & Roll ($62.13 for large) collar in butter yellow with domed rivets caught my eye.

Yellow rock and roll

You might prefer the orange-and-black Classic ($55.35 for large).

orange collar

Take a look at other available styles on the website.

SUREswivel Tangle-free Pet Anchoring System


Allow me to make a disclaimer here: With few exceptions, I’m not a proponent of tethering dogs. Or cats. For instance, I would tether my dogs for short periods of time while camping, as long as there were no trees, rocks or shrubs around where the lead could get tangled. Otherwise, they might wander. Love my dogs but I’ve had hellish (and comical) experiences camping with them.

I take Dexter with me as much as I can — Luke is much happier staying at home — but if I wanted to visit a friend who didn’t have a fenced yard, I might consider tethering him as long as we were all outside. I’d do the same if we were hanging out at the beach or a park that doesn’t allow dogs off leash.

With those exceptions in mind, SUREswivel looks like a good idea. It provides 360-degree movement with little or no tension, and the six X3 anchor stakes are designed with spiraled shafts, keeping them securely in place. These are the same stakes used with camping equipment.

SUREswivel can also be permanently mounted to a deck. And the ball socket has been tested to withstand over 1000 pounds of pull without fracture, according to the manufacturer. It’s priced at $49.99 through sureswivel.com.

Check out the video to see a demonstration of SUREswivel.


Tagg Pet Tracker

There are two escape artists in my neighborhood, and I’ve caught them both at different times. And, strangely enough, both are Vizslas – not related. One of the dog’s tags even names him an escape artist. The first dog’s owner worked miles away and couldn’t come home for hours, so Dexter and I took him to the dog park for the afternoon.

I found the second one in the evening and his owner was out, so I left a message but not with my cell phone, so she had no way to reach me or find her dog.

If these owners had known about Tagg Pet Tracker, they might have been able to get their dogs home much sooner because they would have received a text or email as soon as their dogs left the “Tagg zone.”


Tagg attaches to your dog’s existing collar and works by using GPS and wireless technology to track your pet and pinpoint his location on a map using your mobile phone or computer. There’s a free app for iPhone and Android smartphone users. But note that there’s a monthly fee of  $7.95 on top of the $99.99 price tag.

While I don’t think Tagg Pet Tracker is necessary for every dog, I do think this system might give those who have pets with Harry Houdini tendencies a little more peace of mind. It works for cats, too, but only for those over 10 pounds.