Don’t forget Fido this Christmas

While you’re out doing your last-minute Christmas shopping, don’t forget to bring something back for your favorite hunting buddy. The dog needs something to unwrap, too.

Don’t tell my Labrador retriever, but Riley’s getting a no-bark collar for Christmas this year. She probably won’t appreciate it as much as my wife will, so I’ll get her a couple of rawhide bones to stick in her stocking, too.

The SportDog NoBark SBC-R collar is really a present for my wife. Riley has an annoying tendency to bark continuously when she’s tossed outside, either because it’s time for her to get some air or because she’s been caught counter-surfing again. I suppose in that regard, it’s a gift for the dog, too, because if I don’t do something to stop her barking, Amy’s going to shoot her.

I’ve got other presents squirreled away for the dogs, too, though. After all, they’re part of the family, so why shouldn’t they get to share in the holiday joy? I’ve got the usual treats, toys and chew bones, and a couple of new dog beds.

If you have a dog with tender feet, or if you hunt geese on frozen lakes, consider a pair of sure-grip dog booties. You can get them with or without ice studs. Either way, these are a gift for the whole family the first time you strap them on your dog. For the first five minutes or so, it’s a riot watching the dog try to figure out why their feet feel weird when they walk. After that, though, the dog gets used to them, and they protect your dog’s feet from cold, as well as from anything out in the field that could cut or poke them.

Riley’s favorite gift, though, is her DT Systems Dummy Launcher. It’s a retrieving dummy you load with a .22 blank, then fire the dummy hundreds of feet into the air or across the field. Riley loves this thing, and so do I. I gave it to her early, because I couldn’t wait. And she can’t wait to go train, when she sees it come out of the cabinet.

Don’t forget Fido this Christmas.