Sunday, January 9, 2011

Shameless Plug Sunday: Paco Collars

I have an obsession with dog collars. I have hundreds of them. Every few years they begin to unionize and I have to ship many of them off to the local animal shelter. But there is one collar company whose products I'll never get rid of... their collars are so amazing, so durable, so stylish and so practical that I cannot help but act like a silly fangirl whenever they're mentioned in conversation.

This week's shameless plug goes out to.... Paco Collars!

Yes, they're a bit more expensive than you're probably used to.... but trust me, they're worth it! While other leather collar companies tell you to keep their products dry, the folks at Paco Collars proudly challenge you to "get it wet, get it dirty."

Can't afford a Paco Collar? No problem! The company accepts barter as a form of payment, and that's actually how I've gotten several of my Paco Collars. They also have "oops" collars from time to time that they sell for a discounted rate - check their Facebook page for good deals!

How tough are Paco Collars? Well, Kaylee's collar was lost in the 2011 flood and didn't resurface for three months. It spent three months in a puddle of nasty floodwater... and Kaylee is wearing it right now. It didn't fall apart, it didn't get ruined, it didn't even deteriorate - the only sign that it had a rough three months is the deep patina that the brass picked up along the way. I considered using a brass-cleaning chemical on it to spruce it up, but instead I've left it alone to serve as a visual reminder of why my dogs (and cats) will always wear Paco. It's now known as the famous "Shipwreck Collar."

How awesome is the Paco Collars staff? Will they do the bare minimum or do they really treat their customers like family? I have a very special collar made by Paco... there are only two in existence, and the second one was given away at the United Doberman Club Nationals. I asked the folks at Paco if they could recreate the collar worn by the Doberman in the War Dog Memorial in Guam. They said they'd try... and what they came up with was nothing short of a miracle. It was as close to the "original" as possible - a 1" wide leather slip collar with thick brass hardware, with the words "Always Faithful" stamped onto it. There are two reasons why this collar is beyond cool - first, the lettering on the collar was stamped with an era-specific U.S. military-issue leather tooling kit. Second, everything was hand stitched. There are very few companies that would be willing to hand stitch that collar. In fact, I'd been told be several other collar makers that it "couldn't be done." Way to go Team Paco for achieving the impossible!

And yes, all those Paco products in the photo above are mine. Aside from Ilsa's collar and a few of the leashes, they all are used daily and worn hard. If you click the photo, it should open full-size so you can see now nice these things really are!

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