Sunday, March 2, 2014

Ride our Brain Waves

Ride our Brain Waves

Mom's been deadly sick for three days, and Nicki has become bored out of her fluffy gourd. She resorted to pulling tissues out of the full trash pail and tearing them up. I wouldn't really care. I have a vacuum after all, and the tissues are of no value. But - I worry that a dog chewing on the discarded tissues of two diseased hoomans may be getting the bad end of the deal. So - we put a stop to that! I emptied the trash.

I, too, have been bored out of my skull, which has resulted in a couple of not-too-bad ideas.

Do you know what QR codes are? If not, you've seen them around - probably on posters or adverts. They're pretty nifty, because you can encode a LOT of information into them. More than you could in - say - four lines of type on a dog ID tag. Some dog tag makers have clued into that, and they now offer a service by which they will take your information and create a QR code for your dog, then print the QR code on a tag for your dog. The ones I've seen take up quite a bit of space on the tag with unattractive "art" and their own logo (of course!) Long story short: they're not cute.

I've know for quite a while now that there are FREE QR code generators online. They require no registration, no personal information, no nuthin'! And QR codes are, in and of themselves, graphically interesting. Or at least not as repulsive as the commercial QR tags I've seen. So - what if you could create a QR code for your dog, then make a tag with it? And what if you could also, on that same tag, use standard text to include name, address, phone, chip number, etc? You can.

A while back I got a Groupon for dog tags. I kid you not. At the time, Nicki was brand new to our household. I was very aware (thanks to the excellent literature that her rescue organization, New Spirit 4 Aussies, sent home with her!) that a rescued dog in a new home is at heightened risk for becoming a runaway. I'll do another entire post about that, if you'd like. Suffice to say that even rescue is a traumatic experience, and a rescued dog new to your home doesn't yet know that they are finally SAFE. So anyway - I was all over microchips and ID tags and everything to help ensure Nickli's safety. So, given the chance to get cool, design-it-yourself ID tags at a discount, I leapt! PLUS I got to upload my own snowflake design and create a cool winter tag for her. Nicki is a fashion plate. Even when she's rolling in unknown substances......

The company, Dog Tag Art ( offers great, high-quality tags with a graphic of your choice on one side and up to four lines of text on the other side. BUT - you can kind of "game" this process by uploading your dog's personal QR code as the graphic side. You can include health information! (Allergies, medical conditions, meds needed) Alternate phone numbers! Websites AND street addresses. As much as the QR generator will allow. You can even offer a reward for return. On the other side, there's room for standard text with your dog's name, your address, phone, and maybe the pup's chip number.  In case you're wondering, I generated this using  Just scan it with your smart phone for a demonstration. CAUTION: before you print a tag using a QR code - have someone double check it by scanning it with their smart phone. It should present the information you wanted, EXACTLY as you put it in. Here's an example:

My other idea? Most dogs love yogurt. The next time your pup does something good, give them a teaspoon of yogurt. It's different. It's healthy! It doesn't leave crumbs on your rug. It takes more time/effort than a crunch and a gulp. Do you use frozen stuffed Kongs? Don't use fatty peanut butter and spray cheese exclusively. Consider a spoon or two of yogurt, as well. Take it easy with the yogurt, though. A little bit of live culture goes a long way. You don't want Super Yogurt Poops!

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