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No slipping with this disc

November 07, 2005|By By Andrew Edwards

Kiapet.com of Newport Beach introduces the Easy Grab Disc, which canines can snatch with ease from hard surfaces.Who ever said a Jack Russell terrier can't have her own business card?

Kia, an 8 1/2 -pound bundle of energy, is the card-carrying canine face of Kiapet.com. Kia's owner, René Bruce, is also the sole owner of Kiapet.com, a Newport Beach-based company that is marketing the Easy Grab Disc for dogs.

The toy has been on the market for about two weeks, Bruce said. Basically, the toy is a soft plastic disc that looks as if three large dog bites have been chomped out of it.

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The disc was designed to fly through the air and be easier for a dog to grab hold of than a traditional flying disc.

"I designed the shape fairly quickly, but I originally started with more cutouts. I worked my way to a medium point where it looked cool but still flew pretty good," Bruce said.

The bite-shaped cutouts, Bruce explained, give dogs a tooth-hold that makes it simpler for them to pick up the disc if it lands on a hard surface.

The disc comes in two sizes -- a small one for Kia-sized dogs and a larger model for bigger dogs, like Darla, Bruce's Great Dane. Patents for the discs are pending, Bruce said.

The discs are not the only products Bruce markets through Kiapets.com. He also sells a motorcycle harness that allows a dog owner to share the ride with his pet.

"When I got back into motorcycles and got the Harley, she [Kia] was like, 'C'mon, I want to go," Bruce said.

"She's got 7,000 miles," he added.

Before designing pet toys, Bruce said he focused his efforts on products related to sports like skateboarding and inline skating.

He also designs less flashy goods, like a plastic tool designed to allow people to lift a toilet seat without actually needing to touch the toilet seat.

"I've kind of segued from wood skateboard stuff to high-tech injection molding with thermoplastics," Bruce said.

Ideas, he said, don't always arrive while he's in the workshop.

"I come up with a lot of stuff in my hot tub or my shower. I'm thinking, I'm always thinking," Bruce said.

* ANDREW EDWARDS covers business and the environment. He can be reached at (714) 966-4624 or by e-mail at andrew.edwards@latimes.com.

20051107ipk39nknDON LEACH / DAILY PILOT(LA)Kia the Jack Russell terrier grinds on an Easy Grab Disc that was tossed by the toy's inventor, René Bruce, owner of Newport Beach's Kiapet.com.

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