Has Fashion Gone to the Dogs?

Eddie models a cardigan sweater by J. Crew (belt optional)
Eddie models a cardigan sweater by J. Crew (belt optional)

Good news for tailors and seamstresses! The Boston Herald reports that two local tailors are keeping busy designing and altering dog garments and accessories (“Pampered Pooches Unleash New Market for Tailors,” June 25, 2012). The irony is rich, as most of our own clothing is mass-produced overseas and no longer worth paying a tailor to alter or mend. Continue reading “Has Fashion Gone to the Dogs?”

Pet Lovers for Obama

Barack's Best Friend
Barack's Best Friend

Eddie is still basking in the celebrity afterglow of being featured on the Pet Lovers for Obama Facebook page yesterday. His photo has racked up 1,290 likes, 52 comments, and counting!

He liked his “Barack’s Best Friend” leash so much that he chewed right through it, but I’m ordering a replacement ($15) on the Obama 2012 website, which offers a variety of campaign-themed pet accessories. Cat lovers are welcomed into Obama’s big tent with collars that say, “I meow for Michelle.”

We’re still hoping to catch sight of another Cambridge celebrity dog, Elizabeth Warren’s golden retriever Otis, who is said to model his behavior on Teddy Roosevelt’s credo (“speak softly and carry a big stick”).

Otis Warren
Otis Warren

Thunder Dog

Never let them see the whites of your eyes.
Never let them see the whites of your eyes.

“There is a reason for everything a dog does. In his opinion, these reasons are valid whether we, the owners, think so or not.” (How to Live with a Neurotic Dog by Stephen Baker with illustrations by Fred Hillard)

To Eddie’s mind, it is perfectly reasonable to refuse to visit the neighborhood park where we happened to be as a severe thunderstorm approached a few days ago. By his logic, more ear-splitting thunder might commence at any moment along our customary route to the park, hence his new compulsion to crouch, tail tucked, legs locked and trembling, even when the suns shines brightly over this particular stretch of sidewalk. No amount of pleading, cajoling or high-value treating can persuade him that the path between our house and the park is safe to travel. Continue reading “Thunder Dog”

Bon(e) Appetit!

Holiday Dinner with Apollo & Athena (photo by Marcy Maloy)
Holiday Dinner with Apollo & Athena (photo by Marcy Maloy)

“More and more dog owners are beginning to cook for their dogs, not only as a special treat, but also for everyday meals. It is a healthier, safer alternative to store-bought dog food.”
Promotional blurb for The Culinary Canine: Great Chefs Cook for Their Dogs – And So Can You! Continue reading “Bon(e) Appetit!”

Fairy DogParents to the Rescue!

Ali, one of 300 dogs Fairy DogParents has sponsored since 2009.

Have you ever wished for a fairy godmother to get you through a rough patch? (If you haven’t, then congratulations; you’ve led an exceptionally charmed life!) Well, some dog owners could use a little extra help, too, but until recently, there was no one to call upon to wave a magic wand. That’s why Marlo Manning founded Fairy DogParents, a nonprofit that has made wishes come true for over 300 dog owners (“DogParents”) since its founding in March 2009. Continue reading “Fairy DogParents to the Rescue!”

Dog Mommy Wars

Do you place your puppy's needs above your own?
Do you place your puppy's needs above your own?

The Mommy Wars flared up again last week over Democratic party strategist Hilary Rosen’s ham-handed quip that stay-at-home-mother-of-five Ann Romney had “never worked a day in her life.” I don’t have a dog in that fight anymore (the youngest of my three kids is about to graduate high school), but lately I’ve pricked an ear to the politics of doggie daycare. Think I’m joking? Read on.

When I decided to get a puppy last spring, I called several cockapoo breeders to ask about litters in the pipeline. I was a little taken aback when, right off the bat, one of them them pointedly inquired, “Who will be with the puppy during the day?” Continue reading “Dog Mommy Wars”

Dogs Know How To Play

"Dogs Know How to Play" by Joan Baldwin (28"x36" oil)
"Dogs Know How to Play" by Joan Baldwin (28"x36" oil)

The title says it all!

I stumbled on this utterly delightful painting  at the Kingston Gallery in Boston’s South End. The artist, Joan Baldwin, has captured  a “decisive moment” in the tradition of Henri Cartier-Bresson. She told me it was inspired by a visit to a park in Eastham on outer Cape Cod with her son’s dog, Lucy (a rescue dog). I love the way the composition conveys the unalloyed joy and athleticism of the dog’s upward leap, and how the sinuous line of the loose leash pulls the viewer’s eye back down to the ground, anticipating the dog’s imminent descent. The bright red accents of the leash and the ball  inject a dash of canine-cayenne to the cool greens of the marsh grass.

The painting is part of Baldwin’s “Sit & Be” exhibit, on view through Sunday, April 29. The gallery will hold a closing reception on Saturday, April 28, from 4-6 pm. The Kingston Gallery is located at 450 Harrison Avenue #43, and is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12-5 pm.

 

Please note: The image here is from a photo I took on my iPhone, so please allow for slight variations from the original artwork. Better yet, go see the original and other charming paintings by Baldwin in her show at the Kingston Gallery!

North Point Ho!

North Point Park offers Zakim Bridge views

My dog Eddie and I recently ventured out to an area of Cambridge that I’ve heard about for years, but never visited: North Point (or “NorthPoint”). I’ve lived in Cambridge for almost two decades, and I used to work in real estate, so I knew big changes were afoot in the Lechmere area, but when I mentioned North Point to a few friends, I drew blank stares. A dog walker I met there appeared astonished when I told her I’d come from all the way across town. “How in the world did you find this place?” she asked, as if I’d travelled 400 miles from my house in West Cambridge, not four. It’s hard to believe that in a city of just 7.1 square miles, any neighborhood still could be uncharted territory to many Cantabrigians — it’s almost as if “Here there be dragons” were scrawled across that corner of the city map.

Now that I’ve made the voyage and returned safely home, with a well-exercised dog and a bunch of good photos, I can attest that if you’re looking for a dog-friendly outing, North Point Park is worth the trip (vaux le voyage in Michelin Guide parlance). If you have the time and energy, nearby North Point Common also rates a stop (mérite un détour). Continue reading “North Point Ho!”

Rethinking the Language of Dog Culture

Tucker
Tucker has a nose for trouble.

Guest post by Amy Campbell

The longer I work with dogs, the more I come to understand how culture and language exert a tight grasp on the way we care for, understand and train our dogs. Over 78 million dogs live in American households, but it’s only relatively recently that our culture has begun to view dogs as family members with individual personalities, rather than as property. Continue reading “Rethinking the Language of Dog Culture”

Shaggy Muses: Book Review

"Keeper from Life" by Emily Bronte, 1838
"Keeper from Life" by Emily Bronte, 1838

As a dog blogger and an English major, how could I resist a book entitled, Shaggy Muses: The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton and Emily Brontë? I mean, this book has my name all over it, except, that is, where I was wish it was—on the title page! As much as I enjoyed reading it, I would have liked writing it even more. Continue reading “Shaggy Muses: Book Review”