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Why We Do What We Do
Brutus has finally let us, his people, near the keyboard (who are we kidding – he’s asleep and we’re taking advantage!) to talk to our awesome customers about why we do what we do, and why you should buy from The Bark Side.
How many times have you bought something for your dog, and it’s lasted a matter of minutes before being damaged or destroyed? Us too. Buyer’s remorse is bad enough (we’ve all been on that spending spree, bought a few too many things, and spent a little too much), but it’s so much worse when the item itself turns out to be disappointing or just doesn’t last.
While we were waiting for Brutus to arrive, we wanted to make sure he had the best of everything. Now we’re not talking gold-plated water bowls, but certainly we didn’t want any of that stuff that feels cheap and nasty. We wanted him to have fun, but never to be in danger of swallowing a squeaker or choking on a piece of broken-off toy. But how do you know what’s any good, and if it looks good does that also mean it’s good quality? We could have bought the most expensive dog toy on the market, but just because it’s more expensive doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better quality.
And that was the inspiration for The Bark Side. We decided that other people would have the same concerns, and indeed we’ve met so many people since then who say, “My dog destroys everything,” and they think there’s nothing out there for them. Well, we’ve set out to help those kinds of people by having Brutus be our in-house tester; he thinks he’s the boss and that he calls the shots (which is true) but he also has a fantastic set of fangs and a strong chewing mechanism, which means that he’s perfect for seeing whether things really are as good as manufacturers claim.
When he was about 10 weeks old, we gave him a puppy toy that we thought we might stock on The Bark Side. In fairness, he was a puppy and this thing was clearly labelled as a toy for puppies. It sounded perfect for him. Well it wasn’t. We had to take it off him in a little over 5 minutes, because every time he bit into this rubber bone he left puncture marks, and it was becoming clear that if he carried on there’d be bits coming off it and with that came the choking risk. So we didn’t stock those because they weren’t going to present value for money for anyone who bought one. We had that sinking feeling that you get when you thought something was going to be awesome and it turns out to be rubbish. But that’s where the Approved by Brutus stamp originated from, so it wasn’t all bad news.
Dog toy manufacturers tell you their dog toys are great, but how do you know whether that’s true? It’s a bit like the fuel consumption that car manufacturers advertise; we all look at those figures and say, “Yeah, I’ll use them to compare models, but I know I’ll never achieve that type of MPG in the real world”. Well that’s not good enough for The Bark Side; we want to deliver what we promise, and if you spend your hard-earned cash on a dog toy for your dog, we want you to get the quality you expect. Plus, we’re also a bit lazy and don’t want to spend time dealing with complaints!
So when you see the Approved by Brutus stamp on our website, you can be assured that everything has been tested in real-life conditions, and not by some robot dog in laboratory conditions. Brutus bites, chews, pulls, drags, and sometimes sleeps on, his toys. He also sometimes plays really nicely with them, but they also need to stand up to him ragging them about if he’s in that kind of mood.
You’ll notice that we have a guaranteed range available. That’s a manufacturer-backed guarantee, but Brutus has still tested it because it’s disheartening if we have to deal with a load of returns. We’re excited when we sell you a dog toy; most of them have a bit of a story behind them, whether that’s because they’re made from something unusual, or from recycled materials, or because they come with the manufacturer-backed guarantee. We’d be a lot less excited if we were dealing with returns and complaints (also see above about our laziness).
So hopefully you’re as pumped about The Bark Side as we are. We love doing what we do, and we’ve no complaints from Brutus, probably because he gets to boss us about and play with toys all day (all in the name of testing, of course). We also love meeting our customers at dog shows and summer events, so if you or someone you know are looking for stalls for an event and you think The Bark Side might be a good fit, then please let us know.
Oh, it looks like the boss is waking up, so it’s time to post this and pretend nothing’s happened. There’ll be growling if he knows we’ve addressed his audience! Take care, folks.