If you wanted to find a domestic animal in your neighborhood, you wouldn’t have to knock on too many doors to find one. The American Veterinary Medical Association estimates 36.5 percent of U.S. households have dogs. Data from the American Kennel Club indicates that the most popular breed is the Labrador retriever, followed by the German shepherd and the golden retriever. Elsewhere on the list are the bloodhound, Siberian husky, Shetland sheepdog, border collie, Norwegian elkhound, whippet, and greyhound. Whether favored for companionship or activities such as retrieving, herding, hunting, racing, or any of myriad other duties or tasks, nearly all of them rely on mobility, whether for work or sport.
Regrettably for man’s best friend, injury or advancing age can inhibit a dog’s ability to get around. When traveling gets tough, what can the dog’s companion do? If the dog is a small to midsize breed, such as a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, a pug, or a cairn terrier, the dog’s companion can buy a carrier, of course. A good place to start shopping is Tough Traveler, Schenectady, N.Y., a company that has been making all manner of bags, pouches, luggage, totes, and carriers since 1970. The company has been making one specifically for dogs, the Dog Perch®, since 2004.
Aluminum Tubing Bent and Cut to Order
The company’s products run a gamut, from items nearly everyone needs, such as luggage and computer bags, to specialty items, such as musician bags (gig bags), emergency responder bags, and dog carriers, including custom-made items. While most of these bags are made mainly of fabric, some of them, including the canine carriers, need sturdy frames.
Designed by the Tough Traveler staff, the frames are made from aluminum. The company orders its tubing in a length suitable for the bags that need frames, then cuts the tube to the specific length it needs for each bag style. A few bends are made by hand on a manual bender; most are made on a prototype bender purchased from Teledyne Pines in the mid-1980s.