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Product Reviews

Casual Dog Carrier

A Merryvaluation

The trouble with being a dog is that there are two ways to reach your public, and it's hard to decide which one is better. Walking is fun, allows you to sniff other dog's butts (How elegant. -- Ed.) and jump up on the legs of people who stop to pet and fuss all over you. Plus, you know, collars. Like shoes for women. You can't ever have too many.

But riding in a carrier - well, then we're talking face-to-muzzle contact with your adoring public! The chance to lick the cheek of anyone who might think you're cute! Plus, you're just higher, which means more people notice you.

It's so hard these days to be a dog, isn't it?

Merry gets plenty of walking in, but it's not always easy to find carriers that a) her mom can haul around on her shoulder for any great length of time, b) are cool enough that her mom doesn't mind carrying in public and c) comfortably fit a full-grown pug for long periods, even a tiny, dainty, svelte-like character like the princess pug.

So when the fine folks at Celltei decided to send along a couple of carriers for Merryvaluation (keep your eyes peeled for the second review in our August issue), you can bet we were thrilled.

This carrier, called the Active Tote-o-Pet, is called "ageless" on the Celltei web site, and for good reason. This style is lovely but not too trendy. It's a look that will fit in today, and five years from now. The bulk of the carrier is covered in a natural-toned cotton linen blend, and is adorned with chestnut leather straps and trims.

Where the carrier really shines, though, is in the details. The two shoulder straps are longer than many we've seen - long enough to accomodate most comfort levels and body types, and are joined at the top with a long buttoned leather loop for comfort and stability. This makes the carrier easy to pick up, easy to slip over your shoulder, and easy to wear for longer periods of time.

Both ends have mesh that can be left open for breathability but also come with a thin nylon cover that can be rolled up to protect Fifi from the elements. Both ends open with a zip - one end fully, to allow the dog entrance and exit from the carrier, and the other end halfway to allow for air. The top, too, has two layers of window - one layer is the thick cotton/linen blend with velcro so it can be secured back against the carrier, and an interior mesh layer that can be used like a "skylight".

Merry, though, prefers to be able to stick her head out the top window when her carrier isn't over my shoulder, as you can see!

Other features include a waterproof bottom, several pockets to hold keys, personal belongings, bags, even a cell phone. Really, these carriers are like the Swiss Army knives of carriers. There are dozens of ways to customize your carrier to suit your dog's personal travelling tastes. The carriers come in three different sizes to accomodate most pets from teeny tiny to Merry's size of 17 lbs.

I have to say, this is one of the nicest and most flexible dog carriers we've ever seen. It's an eminently functional carrier while still maintaining a sense of style. And really, what woman won't love that? Four paws up!

You can find out more about Celltei from their web site at www.celltei.com.

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