No Bones About It
Owners spoil their dogs. Here are a few places that can aid and abet.
Whiskazz and Pawzz’s resident beagle, Cappi, models
a reversible ruffled party collar.
Marcie Shrom of Millsboro doesn’t spend as much as the celebs, but she does spoil her 9-year-old cocker spaniel Boo—to the tune of $4,000 a year for clothing, accessories and treats.
“People used to say, ‘What are you doing? It’s only a dog,’” says Shrom, 57. “But I say, ‘My dog is everything to me.’ I enjoy every minute of it.”
Lucky for Shrom and those like her, there are places where you can accessorize a pet even better than yourself—for a fraction of the price.
“People are under so much stress in today’s environment that if they get enjoyment by treating their animal to something, what harm is there?” says Alyce Duffy, owner of Whiskazz and Pawzz (500 Hockessin Corner, Hockessin, 235-2002). Duffy claims to have the largest selection of doggie clothing and accessories in the state. It includes coats, sweaters, a variety of collars and leashes. Prices range from a modest $10 to $20 for standard clothing to $50 to $80 for hand-knit and hand-designed clothing made with Italian wool.
“There’s no question that business has increased and manufacturers and companies that produce these items are becoming smarter when they design for animals,” Duffy says. “Originally, when they came out with dog clothes, they were miniaturized people clothes, but that didn’t work. They are becoming more savvy about designing clothes that fit and are comfortable.”
Whiskazz and Pawzz also offers sculptures, paintings, signed prints, decorative pillows, jewelry, dog and cat food, and gourmet treats, as well as numerous customized pet services.
Mandi wears a reversible leopard coat with a gold
lamé collar from P.U.P.S. of Lewes.
P.U.P.S. of Lewes (123 Second St., Lewes, 645-9010) is filled with everything to make a tail wag with joy, including canine cannoli, custom dog beds and spa products. But the main attractions are the accessories and stylish clothing (from the Cha Cha Couture label, natch) and matching leashes. “We fit the dogs in the store, and they wear the outfits out of the store,” says owner Lesley Bowers.
Popular items include Argyle turtlenecks ($30), down barn coats ($35), white terry robes, outfits in black and white “hounds” tooth with red trim, and pullover sweaters with jackets. P.U.P.S. also carries a line of NFL-licensed football jerseys for dogs. In collars, P.U.P.S. offers everything from pink feather boas to collars with crystals that spell the dog’s name. Another big seller is a pink pearl necklace with a Swarovski crystal bone pendant. “I actually have one for myself and for my dog,” Bowers says.
“Pets are viewed more and more as family members,” says PetSmart spokeswoman Jennifer Ericsson. “They are no longer in the backyard. They are sleeping in bed with the family. Fun for the pet parent is to dress up their pets and it’s something they can do together.”
A sweater by local knitter Renee Kozlowski of
Renee Kozlowski has so much fun dressing up her two beloved Shih Tzus, she decided to act on it. After finding that doggy togs were too expensive and poorly made, she decided to create Cutie Pawtootie Poochware.
Kozlowski sews, knits and crochets several styles of outfits, such as The Ralph Barka parka and the Grannie Annie crocheted sweater adorned with flowers, or order something custom. Monogramming is available, and satin linings prevent matted fur. Kozlowski even plans on expanding her line to include matching accessories such as hairpieces, collars and leashes.
—Michele Besso and Deanna Candeloro