Sometimes it’s really hard to get an Instagram-worthy selfie of you and your best friend. As soon as you’re ready to snap, he’ll look away, yawn, sneeze, scratch his ear, lick your face—you know we’re talking about a dog here, right?
Jason Hernandez saw his wife struggling as she tried to take a selfie with their dog, Logan. He wouldn’t pay attention, sit still or look even slightly interested. After all, dogs don’t know “Smile,” “Say cheese,” or even that you want to take a photo. Getting them to simply look at the camera is quite an accomplishment. Jason noticed a tennis ball nearby—Logan really loved that ball—and he held it right over the camera. Immediately, Logan was at attention, looking happily at his toy and, therefore, right into the lens. It was a great idea, but what if no one is around to hold the ball? With his degree in mechanical engineering, his experience and talent for problem solving, Jason got right to work and spent about a year designing and redesigning a slew of prototypes until he had the perfect Pooch Selfie.
Jason had invented the first of its kind smartphone accessory that makes taking clear, focused pictures of you and your best bud fun—an attachment that fits easily onto your smartphone or tablet. The black clasping mechanism fits onto the device and holds the Pooch Selfie Squeaky Ball—the ball is absolutely secure yet can be removed without fuss when you want to squeak it to get Bruno’s attention. (The squeak is invaluable for our senior dogs whose eyesight is failing. There is no other way to direct their gaze to the camera.) You can also take the ball off to play fetch to get him alert and happy before the photo-taking session. You can bet he won’t be taking his eyes off that ball! Play fetch afterward as a reward for giving you a great selfie to post. He may even get to a place where he sees the smartphone pointed at him and goes right into a pose (and turns his best side toward the camera!), because he knows a game of fetch is coming. Another plus for this product is that if you lose the Squeaky Ball or Bruno gets to chewing on it, you can use any tennis ball in a pinch.
The Pooch Selfie is designed for the iPhone and Galaxy, but fits on most models of smartphones and tablets and most third-party cases due to the flexible clip system. You can use both the front-facing and rear-facing cameras without removing the mechanism, and you can take both vertical and horizontal photos.
There is only one warning: Do not leave your phone alone with the ball attached, or you’re going to have to chase down Fifi to get your phone back. No matter how much you love her, it’s not enough to give her a smartphone to play with.
Jason founded and is CEO of Clever Dog Products LLC. Pooch Selfie is only the first of his inventions. There will be more! He officially launched his website in January 2016, and Pooch Selfie has been such a success that it now sells on Amazon and Chewy.com and in retail establishments such as Ace Hardware and Bed Bath & Beyond.