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BL Ochman

B.L. Ochman is co-founder of Pawfun - the free custom photo ecard site for pet lovers. She's also the human companion of Benny Bix Ochman Labradoodle.

She heads the creative team of whatsnextonline.com, blogs at What's Next Blog, grows orchids, and is a really pretty good swing dancer.

PawFun blog posts by BL Ochman

UPDATE: We Were Wrong! Pawfun Product Test – 4 Paws Up for P.L.A.Y. Dog Bed

Here’s a case study of a company – P.L.A.Y. Pet Lifestyle – that has some of the worst customer service I’ve ever encountered. Four paws down from Pawfun as a result.

This update is about how P.L.A.Y. handled it when I called to say that their bed liner burst and ripped to shreds – after under 8 months of normal use by Benny Bix Labradoodle Ochman Puppy.

Contrast their approach with Orvis Dog Beds – where 100% satisfaction is guaranteed.

UPDATE: Oct. 27, 2014
That’s the $189 bed’s liner now: useless (as you can see.)
PLAY Bed-Defects2

There’s the new bed when the story was ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: March 30, 2014Benny's bed

About a month ago, In late February, 2014, Pupyo.com (now out of business) asked me if Benny would like to test a “luxury dog bed” from their site. We discussed the fact that Benny likes to sleep on his back, and they recommended the $189 Classic Round bed, manufactured by P.L.A.Y.Pet Lifestyle

It’s filled with “Eco-friendly PlanetFill,” made from recycled plastic bottles and the description says it contains “Generous amounts of plush fill that won’t flatten out over time.” Unfortunately, that’s simply not true. The second photo above is the liner, now.

The bed COVER washes well
The cover is 100% cotoon denim. It washes very nicely. And, of course, it’s now useless without the liner.

I waited to review the P.L.A.Y. dog bed until Benny had eaten marrow bones on it, dragged it around the house and humped it (what can I say, he’s a dog!) and I had washed the cover a few times. The bed cover has held up beautifully and Benny has had even stopped sleeping on the couch since we got it.

Noni-dog-bed The other member of the family who loves the bed is Benny’s brother, Noni Kitty Ochman, who often takes over the bed and makes poor Benny sleep on the floor.

P.L.A.Y.’s Superior Filling
All in all, the P.L.A.Y. bed’s filling seems seemed superior to the lining of the Orvis Tough Chew Beds that Benny and my late Yellow Lab, Sam, had before this. I think the Orvis cover may proved has proved superior over time, but I’m sure the filling in the P.L.A.Y. dog bed is much better quality.

Nope, the fabric that covers the P.L.A.Y. liner’s filling certainly is not – or it wouldn’t shred with normal use by a normal dog who doesn’t play with sharp objects. See photo.

The P.L.A.Y. bed liner not only flattened out quickly, the flimsy material that covered the lining ripped into shreds, as I discovered when I took the cover off to wash it. See photo above.

P.L.A.Y. Does Not Stand Behind It’s Products
When I contacted P.L.A.Y., this is what they told me: (bold type is my emphasis)

>”While we stand by the quality and durability of our covers and fillers your bed has now experienced 8 months of daily wear and tear. We offer a 30 day return policy on all of our products.

We recommend washing the filler (with the cover on) and have posted laundering instructions on our website www.petplay.com. The tear to the sack holding the Planet Fill looks as if it might have snagged a sharp object.

While the cost of a (L) Round filler is $94.00 we will offer you a 50% discount if you wish to purchase a replacement.”

Nope, my dog does not play with sharp objects.

So that means that this $189 bed is only guaranteed for 30 days! Orvis, on the other hand, guarantees 100% satisfaction and actually refunded by money for a Tough Chew dog bed cover that Benny chewed through after three YEARS. Replaced it on the spot, no questions asked.

The Orvis Dog Bed Guarantee
And that’s exactly what it says on Orvis’ website: “we’ll refund your money if your dog chews through it. No questions asked.” Not in 30 days. Not in 90 days. If your dog EVER chews through the cover, they’ll refund your money – and they did – no questions asked. And that’s exactly why I bought a replacement liner for Benny’s Orvis dog bed. The cover and waterproof liner are 9 years old and both as in perfect condition, so all we need is a new inside.

So I was pretty surprised by P.L.A.Y”s response. And I wrote back:



And you’re not going to believe this email response folks. But they did actually say this, today.

“To address your question regarding laundering of the filler: please visit our care instructions our website. We suggest that if you have a large bed it is best to use the services of a commercial laundromat if your own washer will not accommodate the bed.”

We don’t actually have a lot of commercial laundromats in my NYC neighborhood. We do have normal washers in my building, where I regularly wash the covers of Benny’s bed.

And they offered me a “one-time” free replacement for the shredded liner.

No Thanks P.L.A.Y.! I ordered from Orvis
I passed, and ordered from Orvis. Because they actually stand behind their products for the long haul. That’s why they’ve been in business since 1856.

New Simon’s Cat Video: Crazy Legs

Just in time for Halloween! A new video from Simon’s Cat. This time, Simon does what cats do – which generally is not what you tell them, as any cat owner knows.

Screen Shot 2014-10-23 at 1.25.45 PM

(click the image to play the video)

Kevin Richardson playing football with wild Lions! Oh My!

Screen Shot 2014-09-30 at 1.39.14 PM

It’s a promo for VanGils menswear, and for Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson’s wildlife sanctuary with some absolutely remarkable footage of him interacting with beautiful African Lions.

PhotoRealist Painter Ester Curini’s 2nd solo show opens Oct 2 in New York City

More than a dozen monumental new works by my friend and neighbor, the remarkable photo realist painter, Ester Curini, will bre featured in a solo show from Oct 2- 25 at the famed Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York City.


Curini, who is entirely self-taught, first spends time with her subjects, to learn about their personality.

She begins each painting with the eyes, in which you’ll see the reflection of its natural surroundings, and, often, also her reflection. As you can see in the detail, below, she then meticulously paints her subject, spending months on each of her huge canvases.

Her paintings reflect a sense of humor and irony, and make clear that she puts a piece of her heart into each of her paintings.

More paintings by Eser Curini

[VIDEO] Dr. Jill Elliot DVM – Should you vaccinate your indoor cat?

NY Holistic veterinarian Dr Jill Elliot D.V.M. NY Holistic veterinarian Dr Jill Elliot D.V.M. says, “After their kitten vaccinations, indoor cats don’t really need to be vaccinated.”

She councils cat owners on the minimum vaccines to give and then how to use vaccine titers to evaluate the efficacy of the vaccines for the rest of the animal’s life.

Dr Elliot recently told Reader’s Digest:
“… They’re not going to get rabies sitting inside the house. Vaccines have the potential to create a lot of harm for cats, including possible tumors at the vaccine site.”

There is additional information from Dr Jill Elliot about vaccinations for indoor cats on Pawfun Blog

[VIDEO] The Hero Dogs of 9/11

This video highlights the more than 300 American Search and Rescue Dogs who worked to find the missing, the dead and the remains of Sept 11, 2001.

via The Dog Files

A dog and an elephant – a most wonderful pair of friends

Doesn’t this make you wonder why we all can’t just get along?

Pool Pawty!

Too bad Lucky Puppy is in Michigan and we’re in New York! We’d be there in a minute! Benny & The Pets LOVE swimming.

Sad orphaned Rhino being comforted

The video shows an employee of an animal preservation Center in South Africa trying to comfort a baby Rhino after hunters show and killed his mother.

If he hadn’t been rescued, he would surely have died in the jungle. His sadness is palpable. . She tries to “comfort” the rhino, which is still considered a baby, after hunters have shot and killed his mother. If he hadn’t been rescued, surely would die in the jungle. In addition, it is remarkable its aspect of sadness. #comovente www.jornalciencia.com (Translated by Bing)

A cat in a shark suit, riding a vacuum

Note to self: immediately purchse shark costume for Noni Kitty Ochman