February 16, 2015. That’s when we signed up for BarkBox for our sweet boy Bosco. His sister Macy didn’t care one bit about toys, though she appreciated the treats that are also a part of each box, but for Bosco, it was about the whole BarkBox experience.
BarkBox is a subscription service that sends a monthly box of toys and treats to your pooch. You can be pretty granular when it comes to choosing the sort of things that go in the box: Big dog, little dog, relentless chewer, etc. Not only are the toys and treats VERY high quality, they’re crafted with a sense of humor that cracks us up on the regular.
Around here, BarkBox Day is a thing. A big deal. You say, “It’s BarkBox Day!”, and you’ve just guaranteed that all canine butts will be planted at the front door, watching for that UPS truck. Once the truck hits our block, the BarkBox Dance ensues. It’s tradition in our household to not open the box until all human parties are present, so on days when John is at work, the box sits on the sofa. Waiting. Taunting. Teasing. Tempting. The minute John gets home, he is herded toward the sofa, butts hit the ground and all eyes are locked on the box.
Releasing the tape on both ends of the lid then hanging on to the box for dear life is the human’s role. As for the pooches, they know just where to wriggle their noses at the edge of the box in order to flip it open. Tails wagging, the treasure is examined. Toys are de-tagged. Treat bags opened for sampling.
It’s just doggone good, clean fun, folks!
Many of you reading this have known me for years, either through my soft toy designs, my work with glass or because we share some other interest and have stayed connected. You know me. You know that I am picky, and that I expect good products and excellent customer service. Yes, I’m happy to let the world know when I’m dissatisfied with something, but I feel it’s at least as important to shout to the universe when a company/product exceeds all my ridiculous expectations.
Over the years, we’ve had only a couple of issues — a box emptied of its contents somewhere in the shipping pipeline, one toy that seemed more suitable for a teeny dog than an 80 lb doodle — and in both cases, a quick query via Facebook Messenger and POOF! Problem solved. No questions asked.
When our subscription began, it was for Macy and Bosco. Then Guinness, Prince of All That Squeaks, joined the pack. Macy passed away a couple of years ago, and just two weeks ago at this writing, we lost Bosco. Who was, by the way, The Best Dog Ever. My heart was, and still is, mangled. Having just lost my mom and my brother both within the previous six weeks, I really wasn’t sure how to cope with losing my best canine friend I’ve ever had.
In an effort to avoid dealing with it, I reached out to BarkBox to ask them for help with making Guinness the contact name for our account instead of Bosco, as it was really just breaking my heart to see his name pop up in my inbox. Not only did they gently assist with that, they asked how Guinness was managing the loss and sent him a little extra box with a toy and bag of treats. Most surprising of all was that someone on their Pup Loss Companion Team reached out to me to see how I was doing.
Here’s something kind of cute: Some of their toys even have a second toy inside! One of my faves is Monsieur Acorn. When a hole finally appeared after over a year of play, I cut off the outside of the toy, and inside was a whole new (rather pissed-off looking) toy. I freaking love stuff like that.
You can find these ingenious, funny, high-quality toys on the BarkBox website, of course, as well as in some retail locations, such as Meijer. But for the full-on BarkBox Experience, you really should give their subscription box a try. The standard box comes with two toys, two bags of treats and a yummy chew. Getting a one-time box is $29. A six month subscription is $25/month. An annual subscription, which is what we do, is $22/month. As part of their referral program, if you end up subscribing via my links in this post, Guinness will get an additional month added to his subscription. We would both thank you for that!