It all began seven years ago when my sunglasses broke.
Bought at Target, probably on sale. They were the cheapest ones I could find. They probably looked like this:
A year later, a fluffy golden retriever entered my life when he rounded the barn's corner, ears flapping, and paws fumbling. Four puppy legs gunning for freedom.
Looking back, I see the connecting points that led me to this spot. But then I had no idea. No clue how cheap sunglasses and a fumbling puppy would combine to create RuffArmor.
A little before Mr. Puppy, I had bought my first new car. Before that, my cars had been held together with spit, tape, and prayer. Lots of prayers.
But this one was brand-spanking new and I wanted to keep it that way.It looked a lot like this one. Only not orange. And not a two-seater. Not super fast. Not super expensive. But otherwise, it looked a lot like this car:
Very difficult to keep looking new with a new pup, you say.
Couldn't have said it better myself. It was hard. Especially with a pup who attracted mud like Brad Pitt magnetizes women.
His fur has an uncanny ability to suck up any dirt, twigs or dust in a 12 mile radius.
And he wasn't too keen on wiping paws before jumping into my new car's backseat. Instead he preferred to use my upholstery as his towel. Especially when he looked like this:
Here's where the sunglasses come into play.
Around this time, my husband persuaded me to buy high-performance Oakley sunglasses with UV protection, crafted with longevity in mind. The sexy and smart glasses.
One hitch: $200 for glasses? Are you freaking kidding me?
"Sure, but how much money have you wasted on cheap glasses that break every six months? What about the damage you're doing to your eyes leaving them unprotected?"
The man had a point. You only get one set of eyes.
And out came my wallet. And away went my driving headaches, little eye wrinkles, squinting frown lines between my eyes.
Forking over a bit more money for long term benefits was worth it.
Sacrificing a minor budget setback for high quality was suddenly important. I began wondering how long a leather bag would last compared to a cheap cotton one. Or tough hiking boots crafted for durability rather than low bottom line.
So, you say, what does this have to do with seat covers? How does all this relate to my puddle-obsessed hound who loves car rides maybe more than treats?
Simply this: when I went to buy dog-proof seat covers for my new car, none were to be found.
Sure, the stores were stocked with seat covers for dogs. I found lots of bright packages adorned with smiling golden retrievers that claimed to be dog-proof. Waterproof. Long-lasting.
But when I touched them, the thin fabric told another story.
Flimsy. Skinny. Weak-willed fabric that practically threatened to rip if you pulled it from its package the wrong way.
The minute a poorly pedicured boy-dog claw hit those covers, it'd surely puncture. How could this delicate flower of a seat cover last under my bumbling, hike-loving, mud puddle hunting puppy?
My adorable pup with his fear of street-side dumpster and mop-like paws would beat up that cover like Bane did to Batman.
Something had to change. Every weekend I was spending more valuable time picking wavy dog hair from my seats and wiping mud from the doors. At this rate, my car wouldn't look new in two months.
What's a girl raised on dogs and Nancy Drew problem-solving skills to do?
The only reasonable thing: adopt Oakley's idea and combine them into a perfect dog/car/trip meld.