Saturday, August 15, 2009

The $4 Dog Bed

One of the things with having a 2 year old lab is coming home from work and wondering how I'm going to get all that pent up energy out of him. I do my best - we play tug with a toy and we take a nice hour long walk. I make sure that he notices his chew bone for a good 15 minutes. Have I mentioned he's holding at 80 pounds now? We're getting there, but there's just no substitute for another dog. We took Shadow to PetSmart the other night and a Yorkie started to pay him attention. He quickly laid down, so she would not be so intimidated and could play with him. That's how bad it is being the only dog in the family. (As a side note, we met up with a Mastiff another night and she laid down for Shadow so that he would not be so intimidated and play with her!)

I was able to setup a playdate for Shadow this morning with two weimaraners, Otto and Boris. We met at industrial park that presently only has the infrastructure and the road is in a nice 1/2 mile long circle. We made the loop about 5-6 times ( I lost count).

Boris and Shadow
Otto and Shadow
That lasted about an hour and this is what Shadow did when we got home. Hurrah! Mark one on the scoreboard for the humans!
But he wasn't asleep - he was thinking about how hard the floor is! Wouldn't it be great to have a decent dog bed like the humans have?
So I said "Shadow - let's work on your dog bed!" He perked up!
I went to Goodwill and picked up a $4 queen comforter and planned to "stuff it" with an old, torn folded twin memory foam mattress topper. At one bright moment in our lives, we decided at one point to put in the dryer. Many divots and holes resulted. I made a prototype of the dog bed - folded the comforter into a quarter and sandwiched in the foam. Shadow gave his approval. The work begins!
First, you can see how this is going together. The comforter folded in half and then quarters, with the foam in the middle pocket.
I left the foam on the floor and Shadow took his place while I worked.
Then I sewed velcro that I owned to the two ends that would meet, so the foam could be taken out for washing the comforter. Putting the second velcro strip broke two needles... Learned to move all the comforter stuffing out of the way!

After that I sewed the long sides together inside out to make a tube - and then turned it right side out.
From there I sewed the velcro ends to their mating halves.
My intention was to sew then the two sides when it is folded in quarters, but with breaking two needles and I couldn't move the stuffing around on these edges. I stopped. I may go get snaps or grommets. Don't know, but for now it's like a sandwich wrap and we'll see how it holds up that way. Shadow took right to it and continued his nap!


Theresa said...

LOL, it's a slippery slope. What dogs love more than anything is other dogs! So cute about Shadow making himself "small" and approachable for that yorkie. It looks like a wonderful play date. And that's one happy dog you have there! Great idea with the memory foam. I did sort of the same thing for Dennett as he never liked sleeping on the bed and he's way too old to handle a hard floor. We recycle old pillows and I make removable flannel covers complete with little loose blankets sewn on the top so they can scoot under covers. But I have much smaller dogs. Can you sew velcro onto those open ends? I suppose it's still too thick for the needle. Maybe just a thin cover to protect the memory foam? An old sheet maybe then slip the MF protected in it's slip cover into the plushy dog bed?

Life Looms Large said...

Shadow is such a beautiful dog!!!

Great idea for the comforter dog bed!! I'm so lazy (and have had smaller dogs). I usually just fold a comforter in quarters and let them sleep on it. (But Brittanys weigh about half what Shadow maybe it's enough padding for a Brittany.)

Actually, as our dogs aged, I ended up buying very expensive, but nicely washable, LL Bean dog beds. But your solution is so much more ingenious, less expensive and environmentally friendly to boot! You're one smart cookie!!

That's great that Shadow had a play date!! I don't suppose you have any dog parks near you - where they can go and play with other dogs. There's one in Portsmouth, NH that Bailey loves to visit...but it's not close enough for daily use.

I guess thoughts of a second dog can't help but enter your mind now, eh?

I love that last picture of Shadow's face and paws looking so comfortable on the new dog bed!!!

Lucky dog! Have a great weekend!


Jennifer said...

Theresa - We did have a small dog early in our marriage that liked to sleep under the covers. So I've seen it - but these big guys haven't been interested. I could hand sew the velcro on, but I think I like the MF case from a sheet. His bed prior to this involved an old sheet and some foam rubber flooring. That sheet will make a great case for the memory foam. Thanks for the idea!

Sue - I'm glad you agree he is beautiful. We get complements on him all the time. I likely would have tried the comforter first also and upgraded with age, but since I had the foam available. A second dog does enter my mind and I've become very serious about certain things being established before a second dog comes. I want a 3 vs one in the pack rather than 2 and 2 to maintain the culture. We're getting there and I have to remind myself constantly this is just week 4. There is a dog park about 15 minutes from us. It's the only one and I've heard it's quite crowded. I need to try it out for myself to decide. Love that last picture too!


KaiteM. said...

what a beautiful happy face that last photo is.
He's a well loved doggie now. Kaite

Prue said...

You did great job on this dog bed!! Comfortable bedding is best for pets...