Celebrity Watch: Dogs the Stars Love and What It Means

There are more than 78 million pet dogs in our nation, according to the U.S. Humane Society. That’s a lot of wagging tails, sloppy kisses and furry snuggles to go around, and it doesn’t look like pet parenting will be getting less popular anytime soon! For many of us, dogs are more than companions they are members of our families, confidants and even therapists (who’s to say unconditional love doesn’t make any day more upbeat?)

Chihuahua puppy

When you visit the dog park or go anywhere where dogs and their owners are prevalent, many of us play a little game in our head called, Does that dog match its owner? Sometimes, people’s choice in their dogs and dog accessories reveals a lot about them. How do your favorite pooches stack up?

Little Engines That Can: Chihuahuas, Pugs, Shih Tzus

Although many of us equate little dogs to princess types, like Paris Hilton and Reese Witherspoon’s character in Legally Blonde, that’s not necessarily the case tough guys like Mickey Rourke have been known to fawn over the love of a Chihuahua. The true toy dog-lover appreciates a little dog’s big heart and knows it’s not just a cute accessory to carry around the department store. Small breeds have also made their way into films, ad campaigns and hearts the world over. Stars like Jessica Alba adore pugs, an attention-loving little companion whose Latin motto, multim in parvo, means a lot in a little. If you’ve ever known a pug, it’s easy to see why.

Regal Companions: Bullmastiffs, Great Danes, Mountain Dogs

Large dogs can seem daunting, but they generally have the hearts to match their size. Michael Bay has two bullmastiffs he’s so devoted to he lets them travel by Escalade, and director Bay has even put them in cameos in his films: Megan Fox’s character in in “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” owned a bullmastiff that in real life, belonged to dog-lover Bay. Large dogs like these also reflect an owner’s commitment to training and taking care of them, as they generally require higher maintenance than smaller breeds. Jodie Foster owns a rambunctious boxer named Lucy, and even Mary Kate Olsen owns a large dog, possibly indicating the pint-sized star has more chutzpah than she puts indicates. While there’s no hard-and-fast rule of dog ownership, celebrity dog choices can be as surprising as they are heartwarming.

The Manly Family Guy: Shepards, Labs, Retrievers, Mutts

Jake Gyllenhaal running on the beach with his rescue dogs is truly a sight for sore eyes, and askmen.com labeled the Labrador family of dogs as one of the most manly to own. They are boisterous, lovable, stinky and uncomplicated, which may explain why elegant, down-to-earth stars like Minnie Driver and Gwyneth Paltrow are devout lab lovers. Matt Lauer owns Walden, a golden retriever, another rough-and-tumble breed popular with unassuming types.

Author: Millie Smith:

A chef, dog breeder and entrepreneur, Millie has many interests and loves sharing her thoughts on raising purebred dogs, food and technology.

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Stella Slides – Chapter 2

< Stella Bites - Chapter 1 | Stella Staggers! – Chapter 3 >

Who Me?I misspoke the other day when I was telling a friend that I “have so many issues with having a puppy in the house again that I don’t know where to begin.”

Oh yes, I do. I know exactly where to begin.

All I have to do is look down, look over – look anywhere – and see the evidence of this little home invader: little puddles, everywhere I look.

He sits down, he makes a puddle. He gets up, he leaves a puddle. Puddle, puddle everywhere. He can even make a puddle while he’s on the run – he’s that “talented.”

Now, my intention is not to be gross. Far from it. But after being blissfully untethered from a dog for seven years now, housebreaking a puppy is the single most frustrating experience in the world, at least to me.

And it cannot be remotely compared to potty training a child because at least toddlers wear training pants.

So now a roll of paper towels are tethered to my side because there are puddles, puddles everywhere. If I didn’t know any better, I’d say our little Havanese is a closet beer drinker.

I have faced similar challenges with previous puppies. After several confounding experiences, I trained a yellow Labrador with relative ease by hanging large bells on the back door and ringing them like an over-caffeinated Santa’s helper, every hour, like clockwork, before taking the puppy outdoors.

Within two days – and this is no exaggeration – this genius lab was trotting to the back door, ringing the bells himself and leaving his puddles outdoors.

But not this little mophead. Not only is he fighting this behavioral expectation, he seems to have taken note of the fact that he is the only one in the house who is being singled out for this practice and is now launching a full-scale protest, as in, I’ll show you.

Case in point: the other day, after standing outside with him in the bone-numbing chill of the night air for 35 minutes, watching him sniff, sniff here and sniff, sniff there, I finally gave up and brought him indoors – where he promptly deposited a huge puddle on the floor. Miller Lite? Blue Moon? Maybe someday he’ll tell me the name of his favorite brand.

My daughter thinks I must be “more patient,” but it’s been a few weeks now and we’re not making any progress. Only I have made progress; I think I’ve come one step closer to strapping little surfboards on my socks and shoes. I am beginning to fear my own floor and carpet.

So once again, I find myself appealing for ideas, suggestions – anything to make this torturous transition to dog ownership less stressful – and less wet.

And yes: I know all about those cheese-and-bacon puppy treats and other so-called incentives that I have stuffed inside what I call the “bribe jar.” I’ll make him a five-course steak dinner with a side of stuffed mushrooms if he would just get with the program.

In fact, I’ll make a five-course steak dinner with a side of stuffed mushrooms for anyone who can suggest a sure-fire housebreaking technique – and one that works with lightning, break-neck speed. To heck with patience.

You already know that this little Havanese wears coats and scarves. A pair of training pants is next. Just you wait.

Owning a dog is a mixture of delight, frustration, angst and happiness. In the upcoming weeks, please enjoy Stella’s account of her experiences. Feel free to share your thoughts and observations… and advice in the comments below—I think Stella could use them. -DCB

< Stella Bites - Chapter 1 | Stella Staggers! – Chapter 3 >

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Stella Bites!

Owning a dog is a mixture of delight, frustration, angst and happiness. In the upcoming weeks, please enjoy Stella’s account of her experiences. Feel free to share your thoughts and observations… and advice in the comments below—I think Stella could use them. -DCB

Chewy - a Havanese

I realize we’re a nation of puppy and dog lovers. I’m not oblivious; I see the bumper stickers everywhere: I (heart) my German shepherd, I (heart) my collie.

The problem is, after being a dog owner for most of my adult life, my heart is no
longer in the mix.

Try to understand: I’ve been, um, unleashed from the joys of dog ownership for several years now. And I have to admit: I’ve enjoyed every fur-less moment. I don’t miss it one bit.

No more exasperating attempts at training a “poor puppy” whose delicate paws recoiled against the brutal harshness of … grass.

No more half-eaten ottomans because the “poor puppy” was only expressing his dissatisfaction at being left alone for 28 minutes.

No more wretched discoveries of a tsunami of dog excrement because the “poor puppy” ate a bag of chocolate balls, wrappers and all.

No more clingy strands of fur stuck to every couch, chair, pillow, blanket and article of clothing in the house because the “poor puppy” defies nature by shedding a full coat of fur every month of the year.

No more apologies at the dinner table when a guest closely examines a forkful of pasta and says, “Hey, is that mozzarella or a piece of …?”
“Oh! That’s mozzarella. Definitely!”

See? Puppy and dog ownership makes you so crazy that you will even stoop to deluding your family and friends.

Who needs this kind of stress, anguish and grossness in their daily lives? Puppies grow into dogs and dogs eat more, shed more, smell more and … do everything else in larger quantities, too.

Like a reformed smoker, I see dogs hanging precariously out of neighboring cars – looking impossibly stupid and oozing gobs of spit all over the window – and shake my head in disbelief. Why, I wonder, would anyone subject themselves to the ordeal of dog ownership? What a drag.

In my own defense, I will say that single friends of mine register a similar reaction to children, especially in family restaurants on weekend nights. I’ve watched as these friends register shock at the sight of a squirming, moaning, groaning, spitting and shouting toddler. Yes, children can be a flood of gerunds, right down to their dirty pants.

Well, give me a howling child any day. Just keep the dogs at a great and profound distance. Good riddance.

Or so I thought.
Two weeks ago, my daughter called on her way home and tentatively announced that she had “a big surprise” for me.

“Big shock” was more like it as she ushered in Chewy, a scruffy-looking little thing known as a Havanese. My daughter, who has a tendency to treat small animals like dolls, already had him dressed in a sweater and matching cap. To my surprise, he jauntily made a bee-line straight for my lap, his little scarf fluttering with the familiar sound of a tiny bell.

As only my daughter can do with a beguiling combination of speed and charm, she spun a new “poor puppy” story.

I’ve heard and lived all these stories before. Still, I tried to listen patiently. I really did. I have never even heard of a Havanese, but that is exactly what my stomach felt like it was doing: “Havanesing.” And that was before I watched the little mop of fur tumble out of my lap – but not before leaving a giant greenish-yellowish stain on my new silk skirt.

Is there meaning in metaphors? I tend to think so, which is why I don’t think I can survive another foray into the world of dog ownership. I mean, I’ve been blanked upon before.

So I need help. I need ideas. I need survival training tips. But most of all, I need to know why any self-respecting adult would willingly accept the horrors of dog ownership.

Throw me a bone. I promise: my bark is worse than my bite.

Stella Slides – Chapter 2 >

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2012 Christmas Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2012 Christmas Photo Contest! Below are the winners and some of the other popular entries. Thanks to everyone who participated!

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2012 Halloween Photo Contest Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our 2012 Halloween Photo Contest! Below are the winners and all the other great entries. Thanks to everyone who participated!

 

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2012 Halloween Contest

Show off your dog’s most SPOOKTACULAR COSTUME in our 2012 HALLOWEEN CONTEST! To ENTER post a photo of your dog in costume or in a Halloween/Autumn setting on our Facebook ‘Wall’ NOW through November 1st. The PRIZES will be Gift Certificates for Dog Collar Boutique:

1st PRIZE: $150

2nd PRIZE: $75

3rd PRIZE: $50

A finalist from the 2011 Dog Collar Boutique Halloween Cosutme Contest

The winner’s will be chosen by YOU our fans. The photos with the most ‘Likes’ will WIN our amazing prizes! Share this post and invite your family and friends to participate and VOTE for your photo. Winner announced November 2nd!

Rules: 1 Entry (photo) per person. You have taken the photo and/or have the right to use it, and the person grants Dog Collar Boutique a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use the photo submitted for the contest.

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Dressing Your Dog for the Holiday Season

Hey y’all! It’s my favorite time of year — Halloween is coming AND it’s time to choose the wardrobe for the most important photo shoot of the year — doggie Christmas card photos!

I’ve gotten plenty of boring holiday cards over the years and it’s my personal goal to NEVER send out a bland, generic or otherwise unsuitable greeting card. I’ve become well-known amongst my circle of family and friends for my quality photo holiday cards, which feature at least one of my dogs in a delightful costume with witty captions.

You may be thinking at this point, “Ewwwww, she’s one of those people that thinks her dogs are people.”

Not so, though I do love all five of my dogs. I know no one wants to see a glamour shot of my blue ribbon winners. I like to use puns and pop culture to send love and cheer that will be appreciated throughout the year.

Here are some of my best ideas to date to inspire you to make a bold and creative choice for this year’s seasonal salute!

The Year I Moved to Maine

A few years ago I moved to Maine. I sent out announcements with my new address, but that was in June and I know that’s a busy time of year. So, for my Christmas card I put Spike in THE cutest lobster outfit! It called out my new address (update your Blackberry, please!) and once I added a sassy caption, it was perfection. Informal canvassing indicated average fridge display time was 3.5 months (that’s quite good, for those of you that don’t track these things).

Oh, They’re Rebooting the Superman Franchise Again?

Littlefoot has always wanted a leading role in a feature film, according to his Facebook profile. When we heard there was another Superman project in the works he suited up and took to the streets. He filmed a video audition (TOTALLY charming) which was posted on his Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. We’re still waiting to hear from an agent, but he’s confident that he has a future in “the biz.”

When Johnny Depp Was Willy Wonka

I love Johnny Depp, and so does Ducky, so when Tim Burton made a new Wonka movie, we were just thrilled! Ducky looks good in costumes for short characters (last Halloween he was a super cute Yoda), so I dressed him as an Oompa-Loompa. Ducky doesn’t take himself too seriously and doesn’t mind a more intensive costume, plus I got great feedback from the 3-1-1 demographic!

Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia!

A few years ago I got into gardening and organic products. I wanted to remind all my friends and loved ones how easy it is to be healthy and green, wherever you live! Petri volunteered for this experiment and I think it’s one of the best costumes I’ve ever made from scratch, plus she smelled great!

Guest Contributor Michelle Cook Michelle is a freelance journalist who covers pop culture, including movies and TV shows. Her favorite genre is superhero movies.

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Eco-Lucks Kimono Dog Collar

This collar has amazing detail and pops with rich color. The vibrant peach collar with red blossoms and trailing sparrows, is sure to bring attention to your pooch. Feelings of tranquility and serenity allow you to tame your own inner dragon.  You can enjoy doing some downward facing yoga poses with your pooch and enjoy having harmony in your life along with your dog.

This collar is a great example of the fact that you don’t have to sacrifice style or quality in order to go green.  Eco-Lucks collars are made from 100% post-consumer plastic bottles, keeping the equivalent of 1.5 bottles out of our landfills with every collar sold. It features a extremely strong hardware with a special coating on the D-ring that is completely waterproof. The collar’s pattern is printed using water-based ink containing no chemical by products. With normal use, the collar should retain its bright and beautiful design for several years. Good for you and good for the Earth, what a great combo!  Matching leash sold separately  see below for details;

Pattern:
Cherry Blossom on Orange
Sizes:
Small: 0.75″ wide x 9″- 16″ neck
Medium: 1″ wide x 14″- 20″ neck
Large: 1.5″ wide x 18″- 26″ neck
Prices:
$24- $28.00

Eco-Lucks Kimono Dog Lead – Made of the equivalent of 2.5 plastic bottles.

Offers an extremely strong hardware with a special ergonomic handle for continued comfort. Size:  1″ W x 5′ L Price: $25

The collar is made by Dublin Dog based out of Charlotte, North Carolina since 2007.

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British Invasion Harness

William and Kate are coming up to their 1 year anniversary! How will you show your British style?

Make sure that your dog looks like royalty with 26 Bars and a Band’s line of harnesses and matching leashes, which can help your pooch feel like part of the monarchy. The royals only want the best, and that’s what we look for, too. 26 Bars and a Band just received the 2011 Pet Business Industry Recognition Award, which is given out for being original and making top quality dog products.


Get ready to show your support for the happy couple by dressing your dog up in royal style with the British Invasion Harness, which features the Union Jack, and the matching retractable British Invasion Leash. Your pet will enjoy not being tugged around by his neck as you try to direct him through town, as the purpose of the harness is to distribute pressure evenly throughout your dog’s body and not just on your dog’s neck.

This harness is made of a light, rain-resistant material, with Velcro on the chest area to allow you to easily make adjustments for a custom fit. The d-ring is securely attached to the back, and it also sticks up so that you can easily attach the leash. The harness has a belt, which accents the body of the harness and provides a classy and custom fit your pooch.

This harness is easy to care for: you can just hand wash it and then hang dry it. Keep your loved one warm, dry, and fashionable – just don’t be surprised when you put this harness on your dog if people stop you and ask, “Where did you get that great harness?”

Available in sizes:
x small: 9.5″ length x 15-17.5″ girth x 10-13″ neck:
small: 7.5″ length x 13-16″girth x 8-10″ neck
medium: 11.5″ length x 19-22.5″ girth x 13.5-17″ neck
large: 13.25″ length x 21-26″ girth x 15.5-21″ neck.
The price is $29.95 for all sizes.

British Invasion retractable dog leash is also available.

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Time to Play Fetch!

Spring is here – have you and your dog made it to the bark park yet? One pastime that owners and dogs love is playing fetch, but instead of using a ball that can only go a short distance, why not use a disc that can be thrown up to 200 feet? The Winga™ dog toy, made by Kurgo, can do just that.

Your dog will start jumping and getting excited when you pull out this new toy to play, and that tail wagging excitement will continue every time he sees it. The Winga™’s thrower propels the discs much farther than an overhand throw would, all while saving you shoulder pain. That extra distance and ease of throwing will equal more exercise for your dog, so don’t be surprised if after an hour of playing she needs a nice long nap. As an added bonus, the discs also float in water, so they can be a fun option for that dog that loves to play at the lake or in the pool.

The Winga™ is one fabulously engaging way to get out and enjoy time with your dog. It’s great to use at any playground, dog park, field, or even in your backyard, and, if you’re just taking a walk and don’t want to bring the thrower, the discs can easily be thrown by hand. No matter how you choose to use the Winga™, get outside and enjoy the great Spring weather with your best wet-nosed friend.

The Winga™ starter kit, offered for $14.76, includes one thrower and two discs. The thrower is made of high density polyethylene, while the dishwasher-safe discs are made of durable, non-toxic materials. A set of 2 replacements discs is also available for $11.60. Kurgo has been developing quality dog products since 2003, so check out the other products we have to offer made by them. Check it out at


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