Sweetness: Bark(er)Box

I have a dog. He’s small, just eight-ish pounds (depending on how many table scraps I’ve fed him), and his name is Nigel Barker (yep). My mom got him the summer after I graduated from college as a companion for her second child, Isabel the Chihuahua. But Nigel was really mine from day 1. I named him after the only good thing about America’s Next Top Model, and when I had a kind of serious surgery the same summer that he joined my family, he sat at my feet keeping a sharp puppy eye on me the entire time I was laid up. He immediately took to sleeping next to me, usually behind me near the small of my back, like a tiny, fur covered hot water bottle. After college, I moved around a bunch, and as much as I wanted to take Mr. Barker with me and away from his BFF Isabel, I knew that the mid-2os life I led was not right for him.  About three years ago, I took full possession of him, and he has become my partner-in-crime and many, many times, the sight of his almost violently wagging tail when I come home from a long day at work is the bright spot of my day.

Meet Nigel Barker
Meet Nigel Barker

I will freely admit that I spoil him. He has come to work with me on occasion. I dress him up on holidays. He owns a Dogs for Obama handkerchief. He has more coats than I do, he sleeps in the bed with me, and I’ve surrendered my best throw pillows to him. So when I read about BarkBox, I was thrilled–another way to show Mr. Barker how much I love him.

BarkBox iPhone app
Perhaps the best home screen, ever.

BarkBox is a monthly subscription service similar to Birchbox. You select your dog’s size and a monthly plan, month-to-month, three months, or six months. Bonus: BarkBox donates a portion of each box sold to pupsters in need. Who can argue with that?

I chose month-to-month because Nigel is notoriously finicky about his toys and I didn’t want to waste money on things that would end up in odd corners of my bedroom. The iPhone app (left) is pretty perfect in terms of user experience. I love the little touch of including my dog’s name as well as mine, and the reviewing experience is pretty seamless as well. Like Birchbox, you can purchase items from the box directly from the app, and I didn’t have any problems with that, either. But now for the meat and potatoes–er, kibbles and bits.

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