Hi, I’m Bing!
I’ve enlisted my humans, brothers, and, in the future, some of my friends to test, review and recommend the best pet products around right now. My brother, Gunther, and I are complete opposites when it comes to all things dog so my humans figured that if they found products that I liked and that could withstand his more brutish tendencies, then we were onto a winner.
When we’re trying things out we tend to have certain preferences, such as
- Small businesses — We love to see small businesses making high-quality products and we understand that product development is a costly operation (both in time and money) so, where possible, we try to support small businesses.
- Sustainability — Businesses that make the effort toward sustainability are very high on the list. Sustainability includes everything from recyclable packaging to hard-wearing, durable toys that don’t need to be binned after one tough play session.
- Safety — Hannah has seen a lot of accidents and injuries over her years as a veterinary nurse from poorly-produced products. If it’s not safe, it’s not getting a mention here. Obviously, no dog should be left alone with any toy and accidents do happen, but buying good quality products is the first step in preventing avoidable problems.
- Show and Tell — Not all of our posts will be about products, some will be about common questions we get asked all the time, fun activities to do with your dog, and how-tos on basic dog care and cat care. Consider this site a one-stop-shop for the information you need when it comes to giving your pup the. Best. Life. Ever.
So, who’s behind Bing’s Best Things? Let’s meet the team
As you may be aware, I am the star of this show. I’m a 5-year-old Shih Tzu X who stole Hannah’s heart when she saw me on the BCSPCA website in 2018. Yep, that’s BC as in British Columbia, I came all the way to Ireland from Canada with Hannah and my brother, Fred. We’ve continued having adventures here, despite a global pandemic and, even worse, a new puppy in the house. I’m not Gunther’s biggest fan, but maybe he’ll grow on me once he starts settling down (I’ll let you know if that ever happens).
I’m a high-energy little guy and I LOVE food. I go everywhere with Hannah, including the pub, and I sometimes even come to lectures with her because I’m a great demonstration dog. I also love the attention that people give me when I’m out and about. After a long day’s work, there’s nothing I love more than snuggling up with Fred on the couch, and Hannah and Harry too, if they fit!
HELLOOOO I’m Gunther and I’m a 1-year-old, working line Belgian Malinios and I LOVE being busy and chasing tennis balls and bringing them back and chasing them again and Bing. Hannah promised Harry we would only have me for two weeks but it’s been over a year now, so I think I’m staying. I was one of the Port Puppies and originally only needed a temporary place to stay but who could say goodbye to this face? Anyway, now I’m 25 kilogrammes of FUN and ENERGY and I need lots of structure, enrichment, and activity to help me behave. Hannah and Harry wouldn’t have it any other way, though.
I think Bing and Fred are the best things ever, but they don’t seem to want to bounce with me all the time. That’s OK, one day I’ll win them round. I’m a big fan of toys and games and would literally jump through hoops for a tennis ball. I’m still very young and still have a few issues to work on but I love my people more than anything else. One day, Hannah and Harry are hoping to be able to compete with me in agility and competitive obedience but that’s a while off for now!
I’m Hannah, aka personal shopper, “product procurer” and opposable thumbs for Bing, Gunther, and Fred. I’ve been a Registered Veterinary Nurse for ten years and now run a consultancy business for companies wanting to develop products for pets as well. I’m also an occasional lecturer in Veterinary Nursing and in the middle of my MSc so, you could say, life is pretty on-the-go.
For the last ten years, I’ve helped pets (and their parents) who have accidentally swallowed, injured themselves on, or had a reaction to products that were marketed to them but weren’t actually fit for purpose. I always empathised with owners who were trying to give their pet the best life only to have an unexpected and costly vet bill because something wasn’t fit for purpose.
Once Gunther came along, we had to start buying toys that were (or claimed to be) more hard-wearing than usual and I was shocked at how many “tough” toys just weren’t. We wasted lots of money on toys that didn’t last an hour, let alone days.
We decided to incorporate my knowledge from practice, the experience I’ve gotten from both product development and trial and error, and Harry’s web smarts to create this site for other pet owners who want the best for their pets.
Hello! (It’s odd to write a bio in the first person for a change.) I like to consider myself the brains in the background of this whole operation. Hannah would be more likely to say that I’m the one who to shout at if the website isn’t working.
When I’m not picking up after the dogs (or Hannah), I’m a freelance writer. I’ve got bylines with The New York Times, The Irish Times, Wired, Popular Science, and countless other places. It’s a great gig—and I love that it’s given me the freedom to have a dog as ridiculous as Gunther.
Bing’s Best Things is the first time I’ve launched a website like this for myself (or rather for Bing) so I’m excited to see where we can go with it. Hannah has taught me so much about what not to do with dogs (Did you know they can’t eat grapes? I didn’t, and I’ve had 10 of them [Dogs, not grapes; I’ve had more than 10 grapes.]) She’s also pretty good at keeping them entertained. I’m delighted that she’s going to have a place to share all she knows with the world. Dogs, cats, and pet owners are going to get a seriously great new resource.
Why, hello there, I’m Fred. I’m the original ruler of this house and I was adopted by Hannah in 2017 after a trip to Ikea (in Alberta, Canada) led her to a pet shop where I was up for adoption. I’d been there for two months and nobody had taken a shine to me, even though I’m the best cat ever!
I came home with her, first to British Columbia and then all the way back to Ireland. My main duties around the house include keeping the dogs in line and running surveillance out the windows. I also supervise most tasks that go on in this house so I’m kept very busy. I love affection and being groomed and can generally be found snuggled up to Hannah, or one of the boys.