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San Diego teen's invention keeps dogs company while owners are away

Posted at 8:45 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 11:45:50-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A device created by a senior at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace hopes to resolve the lonely feeling dogs get when their owners leave.

"It starts by first dropping the treat, the dog walks over picks up the treat and it's a delayed enough time so it's petting them," said Cassidy Matwiyoff.

The idea of her invention, called the Bow Wow, started after a night of watching the popular ABC hit series "Shark Tank."

"I thought, 'What problem can I solve in this world?' and I looked at my dog who's always sad when we're home alone," added Cassidy.

With the help of her mom, an entrepreneur herself, Cassidy began designing a prototype for Bow Wow and wrote up a business plan over four years. She even visited a local patent attorney who advised her to do her research.

"See if there's anything out there because you don't want to step on this at all if someone else has this idea or it's in the making," Cassidy was advised.

She was in the clear and the Bow Wow was ready to be unleashed. That's when she learned about the Capstone Design and Engineering program at Chico State, where the public can pitch ideas to the group and if chosen, they get their inventions manufactured by engineers. Her project was selected and when it was finished, she and the group presented it to a room full of aspiring engineers and professors.

"One of the professors said 'my dog would rip this to shreds and I didn't want to take it at face value and was like I'm going to test you on that one," Cassidy argued.

She spent every Saturday for the next four months at Helen Woodward Animal Center when she pet dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages with gloves, sticks, simulating a human hand.

Puppies weren't as receptive but canines over a year old she said were all about it. It's now a waiting game for investors and perhaps Shank Tank could be in her near future.

"Once you fuel that passion for it, and convey it to others they're more interested in your product and want to invest and put their time into it," Cassidy concluded.