The Best Products for Your Dog, According to a Dog

The best dog.

by Benny
Oct 1 2019, 4:48pm

Benny and the Baby. Photo via the author.

Welcome to BUYABLES , a new series that will show you how to upgrade your life and the things you need to buy to do it.

Hi, I’m Benny*. My dad is an editor at VICE and asked if I could write up some of the things I love so that others may purchase them for their dogs. I agreed. What choice do I have? He controls the food and water supply. He paid for literally every one of the things listed here. Everything I’ve ever had, honestly. He’s my dad and I’m his bestest boy. It’s the least I could do.

What’s funny about that—please pardon this digression—is that I’m told he wasn’t really on board with getting me at first. He and mom already had a dog, my sister, Annie. On top of that they were going through some stuff, and he just thought having a new puppy bouncing around wasn’t the best idea. Obviously he lost that battle. So I’m here now and I’m basically the reason he wakes up in the morning. (Literally.) He loves me too much. (I mean, check this out. It’s unhinged.) I am the cornerstone of the family, light of both their lives. Annie has passed. No more sharing anything. All these things are mine now. Even some of the things that used to be hers.

Wait, was that too harsh a transition? Sorry, I don’t do this ever and might be bad at it. Anyway, let’s get into the things you should buy, shall we?

Kong Flyer
When I'm out of New York City, the frisbee is with me.

Kong Frisbee

Kong makes lots of stuff for dogs and cats. To my mind, the real star of the their lineup is the red rubber frisbee, or “Flyer” as they call it. When we go to the park or upstate or some place I can really stretch my legs, we always take the frisbee. This thing, despite its considerable heft, floats effortlessly. Dad can chuck it about 100 feet and, as I mentioned, he’s an editor at VICE. Imagine what your owner could do! I am pretty good at catching the red rubber Kong frisbee. Even when I don’t, and I misjudge a jump, and it conks me on the head it doesn’t really hurt. I just grab it off the ground, slash it about violently in my mouth like I’m a ravenous wolf who just caught a rabbit, and bring it back for the next throw. I never tire of it. I will bring it back a million times if whoever is throwing it is up for it. Even at the point of exhaustion I’m like. One. More. Throw. It’s a sickness.

Benny in the grass
Hi, I'm Benny!

Boppy Original Newborn Lounger

We have a tiny situation. And I do mean tiny. This month mom and dad had a human baby and it threatens to upset the order of my being the cornerstone of the household, the light of everyone’s life. They spend a lot of time doting on this kid and I’ve already begun to see double standards emerge. For instance: this human baby pees and poos itself all the time in the house and they seem happy to clean it up. They even remark on the size of the loads sometimes and, get this, praise him for them the bigger they are? Like, “Ohhhh, this is such a huge one! Wow! Good boy.” This baby also screams all night and doesn’t get in trouble at all for it? I’ll bark at night sometimes because, like, the wind blew something over on the patio and I thought we may be in imminent danger, and I’m scolded for it every time. Mom even uses my real name when I do it. “Benjuls!” she’ll say angrily when I bark at a late-night siren or howl at someone making noise in the hallway of our building. But this baby screams and gets held and comforted? OK.

But there is some good news. This human baby has this bed/pillow thing called a “Boppy Original Newborn Lounger.” One thing I’ve noticed about it is—and this may be a problem; we’re too early into this whole thing to know just yet—it's the most comfortable bed I’ve ever laid in. When this baby is not “lounging” in it I hop right in. I get positive reinforcement for it too. Mom and dad take out their phones and shoot a few photos and are like “Bennnnny. You’re not supposed to be in there!” or whatever. But I can’t help it. It fits me perfectly, all the curves are in the right place. I’ve started trying to get in it with the human baby inside which is, I promise, just because it’s comfortable and not a power move at all nope no way.

Leather Buddy Belt
A bad photo of the Buddy Belt, but a pretty good photo of me and my late sis.

Buddy Belt Leather Harness

I feel bad about the off-handed way I mentioned my sister Annie’s death above. I miss her, I do. And I promise I wasn’t indifferent about seeing her shuffle off this mortal coil, even if it meant catching the red rubber Kong Flyer frisbee without any competition. Truth be told, given her advanced age—she was 11 when I arrived, 13 when she passed—she wasn’t much competition anyway.

We didn’t get along at first, she and I. We did grow quite close though. When mom and dad first got me, honestly, she was quite a jerk about it. She exposed a side of herself they had never seen before. She was aggressive. A bully! (French Bulldog, to be precise.) She once even bit me so badly on the nose it drew blood. I was just a puppy! I still have the scar! But over our short couple years together she mellowed and we became tight bros from way back when.

After she was gone I (unrelated) jumped in a smelly lake upstate and the harness I had reeked afterward. It got sour smelling, very odd. So dad chucked it in the trash and just put Annie’s harness—a pink leather Buddy Belt—on me rather than buy a new one. She had it the entire time she was alive. She and I both are both maniacs on walks—pulling this way and that—and it’s held up. We’re going on year 15 now. It shows a bit of wear but still does the job quite nicely. Dad has talked recently about getting a replacement for me because I’m actually getting too big for it now, which I simply cannot believe. If you’d told puppy me with the bloody scarred nose he’d be bigger than his mean ole bulldog sister one day I wouldn’t have believed it.

Like I said, the harness is pink and sometimes on the street people will say, referring to me, “Oh my God she’s so cute.” But I don’t mind at all. Gender is a social construct. Even dogs know that.

Petsfit Carrier
Don't forget me! I'm Benny!

Petsfit Pet Expandable Carrier

I don’t mean to go on about my late sister or dishonor the dead, but really Annie was so rude to me in those early months that, when mom and dad had to go on a trip shortly after they got me, they knew they couldn’t leave me with her. It would’ve been too much for the dogsitter. (“Here’s the wifi password, the dog food is in the container next to the fridge, and, oh, there is a chance Annie will freak out for no reason and decide she must murder Benny. Have fun!”) So they got this carrier and put me on a plane to go along with them. Turns out I am such a good traveler. And I feel really safe and secure in this over-the-shoulder bag—the Petsfit Pet Expandable Carrier—which I can see out of from every side and, as its name suggests, expands when I’m feeling cramped. Sometimes, if it’s out in the apartment somewhere, I’ll just get right on in it and be like “We going on a trip or what?” even when I know we’re not. I try to keep things light.

Benny and Annie
Shine courtesy of Kiehl's. Miss you sis.

Kiehl’s Dog Shampoo

I’m almost certain dad will edit this one out because—Kiehl’s Dog Shampoo? That’s so embarrassing, right? Like, so so Brooklyn. Who can even relate to this outside of someone like him who follows mostly dog accounts on Instagram and who can work his own dog's name into any song, something he thinks is fun and cute but oof. (Any time we’re on a plane he of course busts out “B-B-B-Benny on a jet” countless times. Truly insane!) But, anyway, this stuff just smells good and that’s kinda the long and short of it. It’s quite the refresh after I’ve run myself ragged chasing the frisbee.

Milk Bone

OK to prove I'm not the fancy pants Kiehl’s shampoo would suggest I am, I should also tell you this trash is my favorite treat. Milk Bone Soft & Chewy Beef & Filet Mignon Recipe For Dogs of All Sizes Dog Snacks Produced in Buffalo New York, USA. The first ingredients are beef and chicken and then it goes off the rails: soy grits (?), sugar, corn starch. Garlic powder!? We’ve tried lots of stuff over the years and I’ll eat any of it, honestly, but I go ape over these.

I know they’re probably bad for me, but I’m basically trying to allow myself this one guilt-free indulgence. The human baby thing stresses me out a bit and so I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much. Thank you for reading this. Might take a poop in this Boppy.

*AKA Bennnnnnnnny, AKA Benjuls, AKA Benny Benny Banjo, AKA Bidi Benny Bom Bom

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French Bulldog