Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Knots of Fun for Your Dog

All Photos Courtesy of Lisa Kamer
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 A few years ago Lisa Kamer was an executive with a food company. She had a position any businesswoman would envy yet something was missing although she didn't really admit it. Then the company was sold. She let fate take its course.

She and her husband brought home a 12-week-old Corgi puppy. Leo was not her first Corgi. The puppy was teething and actively chewing through everything in sight. She realized several years ago that her dogs could chew through the most chew-proof toys.  

One day she had a brainstorm and gathered some strips of fleece. She was sitting in her backyard, no career plans, and almost mindlessly braiding the strips of fleece, creating a toy for Leo out of strips of braided fleece. She gave it to Leo and watched him chew it, suck on it, throw it, lie on it and sleep. He was a happy boy. And so a business, Knots of Fun was born.

"I never verbalized to anyone that I was happy that my company was sold, not because it was a financial gain for me but because I felt that the corporate world was never really me." Lisa said as we sat in her living room having coffee after some cuddle time with the exuberant Leo, who is now an adult, and his new little "sister," 7-month-old Jenny. They were very happy to greet a visitor and I was happy to have a lapful of two Corgis. 

The toys were so easy to make that she thought children might enjoy making them. They certainly did! The first children to make the toys was students at the Perkins School for the Blind. They loved doing it and then they sold the toys at a school fundraiser where they were a huge hit. Making Knots of Fun turned into one side of Lisa's then fledgeling business. Since then, other schools have taken up the fundraising project. Lisa created kits that she sold to the schools. The only stipulation was that they not sell the toys anywhere that Lisa sold them, they couldn't compete with her with her own product.

You can choose from three different types of toys. They're very colorful but trust Lisa to choose the colors.  The toys are machine washable but are not meant to be chewed. They are designed for interactive play with the owner. Put them away between play sessions.  Your dog should be supervised at all times when playing with a Knots of Fun toy. If it becomes shredded or worn, replace it immediately. It is not to be consumed. 

The human-animal bond is something to which I am dedicated and I'm pleased to say that that is exactly what these toys foster since they are meant only for interactive play.
"For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur," said Lisa. "My puppy, Leo, became my muse. It was bringing him home after the death of my two dogs that inspired me to start Knots of Fun. It's really a dream come true to be able to work for myself and to manufacture a quality toy that is made right here in Massachusetts."

Handmade in America. What a nice thing to be able to say!


Lisette Brodey said...

This is a great toy and a really wonderful idea. I love everything about it. This is exactly the kind of toy my dog would love and get lots of use from. Good luck!

Darlene said...

Thank you for commenting, Lisette!

James Stagg said...

Great idea, Darlene! Our former pet, Rusty, would play in the back yard for many minutes with me throwing his knotted toy out for him to retrieve and return. Plus it is good bonding time between dog and owner.

It was sort of unusual, though, Rusty would only play with the toy when I played with him. He retrieved it, tugged at it when I tried to take it away, growled (playfully) when I pulled on it. But, when we were done "playing", he had no interest in it, and never used it as a chew-toy.

Good indoor/outdoor fun for owner and pet!

Anonymous said...

I'm sending this to my sister. Her old rescue poodle just loves to chew and tear apart toys. She should
like this. The fundraising for schools is a great idea.

Darlene said...

Hi James Stagg, Thank you so much for sharing our experiences with Rusty. He probably compartmentalized his toys - that was for playing with you while something else was for playing alone. Smart dog! This really isn't a chew toy and is made to be used with the owner's supervision.

Darlene said...

Hi Anonymous! Thank you for sharing this post with your sister. Please tell her to always supervise her dog with the toy, it is not meant for chewing or tearing apart; it's for interactive play. You sister will have to supervise or play with the dog with the toy and then the toy is put aways until the next play session!

Gordon Brice said...

Apologies for the late comment, Darlene. I "liked" your post on Facebook, but got sidetracked and didn't comment here......anyway, here I am.
What a great idea this is......a boon for both dogs and their human companions. If only these "toys" were around, dare I say it, 50 years ago, when we had our first dog, active Jack Russell (aren't they all active?). At that time dogs' beds were wicker baskets and, in spite of having toys, Annie persisted in chewing her baskets when alone for a while. Goodness knows how many replacements she got through. Fortunately the furniture was spared......LOL!
It's a wonderful idea and, as a bonus it's homegrown.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful blog with us.

Darlene said...

Thank you so much for commenting, Gordon! No apology necessary. It's never too late to comment.
I'm glad you like it. I laughed when I read "active Jack Russell." They're on my short list of the cutest dogs I never want to own! Great dogs but far too active for my lifestyle. Poor Annie, dogs didn't have the assortment of toys that they have no for various reason. This line of toys is for interactive play, not for chewing.

Jones Morris said...

Admiring the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer!..dogs knots