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Chloe’s tote: Organizing your dog’s stuff

Looking at her checklist, you can tell that Chloe travels with a lot of stuff. And her stuff comes in small pieces, like toys and rolls of poop bags and tubs of eye wipes and packets of treats. Without some way of keeping things organized, your hotel room or guest room or car will quickly get messy, and the thing you want at any given time will never be at hand.

My solution is a tote bag. (I love totes, so that’s my solution for most problems.) The tote for this particular job is L.L. Bean’s Dog Breed Organizer Tote. It’s large (but not so enormous that stuff gets lost in a heap in the main compartment) and is ringed with generous pockets into which objects can be organized. The main compartment is zippered, which I like not only for the obvious keeping-stuff-in reason but also because it keeps our greedy cats out of the bags of dog treats we store there. It’s as well-made as the rest of L.L. Bean’s canvas totes, and can be monogrammed with your dog’s name and breed picture. (Unless your dog is a Cavalier, which is not one of the breed choices they offer. Chloe’s tote has a Brittany Spaniel on it instead, alas.)

We use the tote to organize Chloe’s stuff at home, and when it’s time to travel we put the whole tote, loaded with the stuff she’ll need, either into her suitcase or into the back seat of the car. On car trips, it keeps her stuff organized on the road and can easily be carried into hotel rooms. After plane trips, the tote emerges from her suitcase and functions just as it does at home.

3/1/10: I just learned that L.L. Bean no longer sells the Dog Breed Organizer tote, which is a crying shame. My first choice for a substitute is L.L. Bean’s Adventure Tote, in a size Large. Another option is the Large Tote offered by Doggy Baggage. I like the L.L. Bean tote better because the main compartment zips closed, but both have the exterior pockets I find so useful.

2/11/12: How vexing! The L.L. Bean Adventure Tote now has only two outside pockets, and users have complained about its flimsiness compared to its predecessor. My pick these days would be the Skip Hop Duo Double diaper bag, which has a zippered main compartment and eight outer pockets (and several inner pockets as well).

Amazon link:
Skip Hop Duo Double diaper bag (black)

6 comments

  • Akila

    This is fantastic. I was just wondering whether there is a bag like this out there and, voila, you’ve got two options listed for me!

  • Carrie Tsuan

    As an avid reader of your blog, I know you’re already familiar with the brand Timbuk2!

    We have their custom tote bag that holds all of Mochi’s possessions and more for when we go out. The main compartment also zips closed. It provides similar functions as the two options in your post and in addition, it’s customizeable!

    For our bag, I also elected to pay a bit extra for the waterproof fabric panels in case of any spills though the inside also includes a little mesh water bottle holder where I stick her Gulpy.

    I recommend it highly! I’ve also used it as an emergency carrier since it’s very durable and supports her weight well.

    http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/products/bagbuilder/custom-cargo-tote

  • Hi, Carrie! I love your suggestion — you’re right, I’m a big fan of Timbuk2 bags, and the tote you recommend looks like it’d do the job very well. Thanks for the suggestion, and thanks, too, for a fun quarter of an hour or so spent trying out nearly every conceivable panel combination on the customization page. Lord, the money I could spend.

  • Cara

    Aww man! I was looking for something to organize Deuce’s stuff in and I really liked the L.L. Bean bag but the Adventure bag wasn’t my style. The Timbuk2 was a great suggestion but a little out of my price range. Are there any other bags you would recommend that are a little less expensive? Deuce is a toy poodle and only 3 pounds so he doesn’t need that much stuff but I would like something for the essentials. Thanks for the help and I love your blog!

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