Smalley heads to the Shark Tank

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A pooch demonstrates the "Doggy Ramp." (Jerry Smalley photo)

Fishful: Hello, Sharks!

Mark: What’s your name and why are you here?

Fishful: My name’s Fishful and I’m looking for $100,000 for 10 percent equity in my company.

Mark: What’cha 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 truck’s 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 it’s 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 daughter’s 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 kiddin’ 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! Aren’t those places with great bonefish fishing?

Fishful: Well, they have dogs, too, don’t they?

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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