Indoor Dog Restroom: Bad Gift Idea #1

Indoor Dog Restroom: Bad Gift Idea #1 was originally published on City Desk on Dec. 04, 2008, at 9:50 am

Welcome back, City Desk readers, to our annual thread of bad gift ideas.

We’re kicking off the 2008 merry season with a doozy from reliable bad-gift retailer Hammacher Schlemmer in a reliably bad consumer category: pet accessories.

Enough preamble. Witness the Indoor Dog Restroom.

Now, Hammacher Schlemmer is no tyro when it comes to marketing bad gifts, or gross gifts, for that matter. So it’s no wonder that the photo that accompanies this stinker depicts a cute little dog regarding his Hammacher Schlemmer Indoor Dog Restroom (IDR).

And not, like, dropping a mountainous and steamy loaf on top of it.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here. The promo copy for this stunt gift says that the IDR is ideal for “high-rise dwelling dogs.” Let’s pause there for a sec. Why’s that? Because dogs that live several stories up are more likely to mistake the Hammacher Schlemmer astroturf for an actual dumping ground?

Anyhow, Hammacher Schlemmer says this “ingenious system uses a mat made of antimicrobial porous artificial turf that gives off an organic scent to attract dogs, so they can be taught quickly that it is an acceptable spot for relieving themselves.”

OK, let’s dig into the behavioral dynamics of this roach. If I’m reading the Hammacher Schlemmer spiel correctly, this clever gift will reprogram my dog’s hard-earned housetraining skills. Rover, henceforth, will know that it’s OK to take a piss or dump outside, or on the Hammacher Schlemmer IDR. I am certainly no dog whisperer, but I am just going to bet that the IDR would promptly short-circuit Rover. As soon as he learns that it’s cool to back one out on the IDR, well, the IDR is going to become his full-time toilet. Do you really think that a dog is going to look at the IDR and tell himself, Now, this is what I use when my master isn’t around. But when he is around, I’ll hold it till we go out for a walk.

You pay a bargain price of $149.95 to make a complete head case of your dog.

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