Why on earth would anyone need a purse to walk a dog?
It’s a legitimate question.
I first conceived the notion in my early days as a volunteer dog walker with a local rescue organization. Walking shelter dogs is far more difficult than taking your family pooch for a stroll. A list of required items to carry includes:
- at least one spare leash, in addition to the one used for walking;
- a cell phone, for those times when you fall and break an ankle, and need to get the dog safely back to the shelter; (true story!)
- at least one toy;
- at least 3 different types of treats;
- poop bags;
- keys to enter locked shelter doors;
optional but preferred items to increase my personal comfort include things like chap stick, bug spray in summer and mittens in winter.
How do you carry all this stuff and still have both hands free to deal with stressed-out, sometimes unruly dogs? The traditional method at the time was to wear cargo pants and/or a hunting vest, both items offering more pockets. The challenges for me were that:
1. I looked like the Michelin Man;
2. I could never find what I needed in the right pocket, wasting precious minutes that were better spent with the dogs;
3. I had to stop walking and bend over to reach calf pockets. Putting your head that low can be dangerous with certain dogs;
4. There still weren’t enough pockets.
For me, a bag seemed like a simpler answer, and I tried all manner of canvas totes during volunteer shifts. None were perfect for the job, and I often thought that someone ought to invent a ‘dog walking bag’.
Eventually a clever Australian did, and she got it so right! The bag’s strap detaches and becomes a spare leash when needed. (and I can write a whole other post on why one might need a second leash . . .) There is a lined compartment that is fully washable for times when you need to stash a full poop bag. A separate compartment is perfect for toys and flexible Frisbees. Smaller pockets are custom-made for cell phones, clickers and keys. An exterior sling carries a water bottle. It’s everything I dreamed of. With one hand I know exactly where to reach for the item I need.
Houndbags were originally created in a range of sizes, colours and styles. The inventor later sold the company to a new owner, who has retained the design but limited stock to only two sizes, regular and mini, and minimized the number of colours available. It’s still a great product that I use every day. Even with my own easy-to-walk dog, I still bring his bag along on longer forays. I have everything we might need, and my hands are free for training. Love, love, love the product! Houndbags are sold at Tail Blazers Acadia and Doggywood.