with Bonny Durkin
Knowing your canine best friend is suffering from skin problems isn’t easy. To make matters worse, typically most dogs can’t keep from licking and therefore, the wounds never heal. Then there’s the challenge of keeping a sore elbow covered. Hope is on the horizon, thanks to the K-9 Callus Cuff developed by local business owner Bonny Durkin, from MYDOGSWAG. Her passion for her own dogs and passion for rescue started long ago, but little did she know it would ignite a huge business endeavor.
“What my business is and why I have it is because of a need,” Durkin says. “I’m very passionate about what I do, but starting a business to accommodate it wasn’t in my plans.”
Durkin wandered into this arena because of her German shepherd, Mr. Bronson. After moving to Florida from New England several years ago, Mr. Bronson developed sores on his elbows from continuously laying on the concrete or tile floors to stay cool. Little did she know this situation would explode into a full time career.
“Around here, when the dogs are hot, they just flop on the hard ground,” Durkin says. “That’s what was causing the sores. Keeping them covered wasn’t working so I had to come up with something.”
Durkin attempted to research options for Mr. Bronson but nothing worked. She took a step back and decided to develop a product that was comfortable yet fashionable, but most importantly, one that would stay on the pup’s arm and not slide off.
“If I’m going to try this, I told my husband, I’m buying a sewing machine that does everything,” Durkin says with a laugh.
Each cuff got easier to make and more efficient to produce. Durkin began adding new features, such as padding, for comfort. Over the years, her internet-only business continued to flourish and grow as she helped dogs all over the world.
“I just love my customers,” says Durkin. “I’ve been in business since 2015 and my customers, two-legged and four-legged, keep me going. That makes my day.”
As business grew, Durkin began specializing in additional products that are all natural, such as a healing salve that heals dogs and humans alike, a no-chew spray for the dog who snacks on everything, a calming spray for the dogs that become stressed, and an oder eliminating candle that leaves the house smelling fresh and clean.
What does the MYDOGSWAG customer experience look like? For starters, it’s more than just receiving a product in the mail; Durkin’s package is also filled with treats, bows and a presentation that puts a smile on each customer’s face.
“Having my family and God by my side has allowed this passion to help dogs become a success,” Durkin says. “If it wasn’t for Mr. Bronson, there wouldn’t be a business, so my boy made a difference.” ◆