Life was getting simple - just the two of us in our new home, new neighborhood, new life. The boys were both out of the house and our beloved but very finicky 16-year-old dog Tobey had just passed away. We missed everyone, but things were very easy, super chill.

And then we messed it all up. We were “accidentally” browsing on Petfinder (“Where pets find their people”) and fell in love with Walter, a puppy from Alabama who was being fostered by Badass Brooklyn Animal Rescue. Then my younger son moved back home for a few months and it’s all gone to hell. Much more complicated, but honestly, a lot more fun.

Here are some of our BFFs with their good dogs.

Here are some of our BFFs with their good dogs.

When the second Casper dog mattress arrived I realized that we are spending a whole lot more on our new puppy Walter than we ever did with our first dog. Tobey slept on the same bed for years and now I feel bad we never treated him to a memory foam mattress - he would have liked that. And we never really trained him since we were focusing more on the kid’s education than the dog’s. Walter has a proper dog trainer and is getting to be a real smarty pants.

Upon Walter’s arrival, we needed a suitable welcome mat. A friend sent us a welcome gift from Bark Box that was full of brand new toys, treats and chews.

There were so many nice dog beds to chose from, like the “perfect sleep environment” of the Casper bed (“You barked, we listened”) and this super comfy Jax & Bones napper. For our home office, this plush Grand Canyon Pendleton bed was perfect.  

While searching for beds, I found this Haute House Isabella bed. Ridiculously pretty - but just not quite a right for Walter who is a handsome but inelegant 55 pound lab-pit-hound mix.

Did you know there is “crate furniture”? We are crate training Walter now, and if it works out, maybe we’ll upgrade to an end table - like the New Age, Lattice or Archie Slide. Just read this NYT article which showed how Kimberly Handler, an interior designer in Greenwich, built in a custom dog crate into a free standing wall of shelves, very attractive.

While we’ve been crate training, we’ve been using the PetCube camera. It was simple to set up, just enter the wifi network, download the app and you’re done. The little cube sits on my desk facing the crate - and now when we leave, we check our phones and can see that he’s relaxed and sound asleep in the crate.

I recently met the most interesting woman who is a 5th generation composer, Janet Marlow. She’s known internationally for her work on how sound and music affect the behavior of dogs, cats, horses and birds. We’ve been using her species-specific Pet Tunes as we crate train - a small bluetooth speaker pre-loaded with frequency modified music that’s clinically proven to reduce stress and calm canine behaviors.

It’s winter and dog jackets are required. My sister Stacy has the cutest little malti-poo who of course has the best street style in the dog park. Milo would look great in a Chilly Dog sweater with a MOM tattoo, this VIP (Very Important Puppy) shearling camo, and of course, a reversible quilted vest from Moncler.

My sister Elyse has a big, lovable Airedale Terrier, Teddy, who would look quite distinguished in this Brooks Brothers tartan jacket. Elyse could use this Barbour plaid dog blanket, cotton tartan on one side and sherpa fleece on the other to protect her car, couch and bed.

Our treat jar sits on our kitchen counter, so we bought this Nambe porcelain cookie jar that is modern and stylish. I prefer water/food bowls with a stand, it seems more comfortable for the dog and is neater in the kitchen. Mara loves these two bowls from Petco - one black matte and WOOF in ceramic white.

Is your dog a Slayer? King or Queen? Or just plain Cray? Mara’s friend Mr. Dog makes ergonomic earthenware bowls that are a perfect accessory for your dog’s larger than life personality.

Tie-dye is on all of the 2019 trend lists and here’s a collar and leash from Found My Animal in great colors. For night walking, the L.L. Bean LED collar illuminates fully and is visible up to 1,000 feet. Moncler has a very classy leather trimmed collar with their signature logo colors. 

Our favorite beauty brands have created products for pets. I like the Kiehl’s cuddly-coat cleansing spritz - you just spray and massage in, dry with a towel. Aesop has a pet wash for sensitive skin with a mint and citrus scent. And The Laundress has a five-piece set that helps you keep clean around the house with a pet.

Humans need dog things too. I have been lusting after this David Yurman black diamond dog tag necklace for a few years now - seems blingy, yes, but so cool when it’s on. Jonathan Adler makes the cutest poodle salt and pepper shakers, and how about this Dachsund Menorah!

My BFF Karen and Jeff adopted the adorable Miss Ellie Mae last year. She is smart and funny and recently has begun chewing on some things when no one’s around. This book is perfect for them - Maira Kalman’s What Pete Ate from A to Z - in which Pete, an omnivore, devours a myriad of items which he should not, working his way through the alphabet. 

We’re at an age where many of our friends are losing the dogs that have been an integral part of their adult lives. It’s hard to know what to say; I found these tips on how to provide sympathy very helpful.


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XoXo Pam and Mara