01/13/2011 at 02:00 PM EST
At first glance, the bag was hideous.
It looked as though the Magic School Bus had left my childhood bookshelf and come back as a dog carrier. The only thing missing was Mrs. Frizzle. Why? Whose idea was this?
Then, slowly, it took on the life of a different children's book: The Rag Coat
, a story about a young girl whose family can't afford to get her a proper jacket to wear in the winter, so a group of women make one out of quilt pieces for her. When that story was read aloud to me in grade school, I cried in front of all my classmates. Happy, sappy tears.
In other words, that once offensive-looking bag started to grow on me. The Bling Bone hand-painted pet carrier
($385) – a recycled canvas tote made in Brazil – is funky, certainly, but in an endearing way. It doesn't look industrial or generic, which I started to really appreciate after a few slings over my shoulder.
Speaking of which – when my 7-lb. dog was in the bag and I had the straps on my shoulder, the sides of the carrier folded in on themselves. It made the bag easier to wield, but it closed up the dog's view, leaving her in the dark.
The top of the bag closes with two zippers on either side – not the easiest to maneuver, but you get used to it. The flap is also made of a wide mesh material, making the bag very open and breathable, but also leaving its contents visible. If inconspicuousness is your thing, you might just want to save the Bling Bone carrier for days when you're headed for the beach, the dog park or other pet-friendly spaces. See more product reviews on PEOPLEPets.com:REVIEW: Do Holographic EFX Tags Bolster Dogs' 'Athletic Performance'? REVIEW: Nina Ottosson's Dog Brick Sharpens Canine Minds