Fishful: Hello, Sharks!
Mark: Whatís your name and why are you here?
Fishful: My nameís Fishful and Iím looking for $100,000 for 10 percent equity in my company.
Mark: Whatícha got?
Fishful: My product is called DoggieRamp, and it will keep your dog from lots of pain and possibly save you thousands of dollars in vet bills.
Robert: So how does it work?
Fishful: Very easy, just pull the DoggieRamp to the end of your truckís tailgate and rest one end on the ground. No more shoulder-jarring jumping to the ground.
Barbara: And the dog can also walk up the ramp?
Fishful: You bet! And most dogs think itís so much fun they actually run up the ramp.
Lori: Very nice! Where did you get the idea for DoggieRamp?
Fishful: For years I drove a Datsun pickup, then a Dodge Dakota, and the tailgates were pretty low on both trucks. But when I moved up to a Ford F-150 and then a Toyota Tundra, my dogs had to jump so far to the ground, it was obviously jarring their shoulders.
Mark: And some of the newer truck beds are even higher off the ground.
Fishful: Exactly! And the beauty of my DoggieRamp is that it can be cut to fit any length pickup box.
Robert: Can any dog be trained to use DoggieRamp?
Fishful: Absolutely. A few dog treats and a few minutes and any dog can be trained to use DoggieRamp, easily and safely. I started training my dog using two ramps, side-by-side, then I removed one of the ramps. I trained my daughterís white lab, who was having two ACL surgeries, in about 20 minutes with just one ramp.
Mark: What is the price and how much does it cost you to make?
Fishful: I like to get about $700 for each ramp.
Mr. Wonderful: You kiddiní me? That looks like nothing more than a length of 12-inch BCI or laminated floor joist, with a piece of carpet stapled for traction. Anybody could make their own for basically nothing.
Fishful: Yup! And my deluxe model has a short mitered piece of 2-by-4 that rests against a bump on the tailgate to keep the ramp from sliding. For extra anti-skid I painted on some Liquid Tape.
Mark: Why do you need $100,000?
Fishful: Marketing and delivery to Belize, Bahamas, Christmas Island, and Mexico.
Mr. Wonderful: Wait a minute! Arenít those places with great bonefish fishing?
Fishful: Well, they have dogs, too, donít they?
Jerry Smalleyís Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.