Doggy Pearls

These days, dogs are bona fide members of the family. Moving from the kennel to the bed, they share our living space, holidays, go to day-care and even to pet spas. Even for these fortunate pets, however, fashion pedigrees are made, not born. So let’s start with fashion “faux paws”. As pet owners we should know and live by these basic rules. It’s best that you learn these “petrosexual” rules from me.

First and foremost, never use a choke or training collar as a day to day collar. Think about it. What if it got caught on something? In the worse case scenario your pet could choke to death. This does happen and can be avoided.

Secondly, when choosing a coat for your dog avoid plaids. Plaids are great for sofas, chairs and kilts. The horizontal and vertical activity can overwhelm even the most perfect physique. We’re meant to sit on ottomans, not look like one.

Thirdly, dressing your dog for success is one thing but matching their outfit to yours is quite another. Don’t even go there!

When you’re the diva princess mascot of an on-line website and a Home & Garden show, every day is like your birthday (or so Corky tells me). This was never more true than the day I created Corky’s first pearl necklace. Why not do something extra special for your pooch this year and give her a strand of Doggie Pearls?

The idea came to me a few years ago while on vacation in the Hamptons. Those of us with small dogs are used to people mistaking the gender of our pets. My dog Corky is a salt and pepper Miniature Schnauzer. Corky knows she is special and loves to show off her wardrobe. Although I have always chosen her wardrobe to clearly represent her feminine mystique, I continue to hear, “HE is so cute!” With that said, I created an inexpensive way to show her off as the sweet little GIRL she is, something many men would never dare to do. I believe male dogs should look like male dogs and female dogs like female dogs.

So, here is a quick project for your dog (or cat) that is perfect for showing HER off to your friends and family. And perfect for the holiday season.

For this project you will need:
A Plate
å_” Ribbon; color of your choice
Wire cutters
Crimping pliers
Professional stringing wire; most flexible 49 strands works best
Crimping beads
Pearls of your choice – my recommendation is to use larger pearls for larger pets and smaller pearls for smaller pets.

1. Start with a plate. An eight inch plate works perfectly and holds all the pearls and crimping beads you will need for this project. It also works well to catch any beads or pearls that may get away from you.

2. Cut the stringing wire to a generous length sufficient to go around your pet’s neck with a few extra inches at both ends.

3. Make a small loop with the stringing wire (this loop should only be large enough for your ribbon to pull through). Take one crimping bead and push the loop through the crimping bead and tighten crimping bead firmly.

4. Select your pearls and start stringing them.

5. Once you have finished with the pearls, do a quick check with your pet to make sure it fits. Then repeat step number three on the other end.

6. Cut a piece of ribbon long enough to secure both ends and tie a bow, approximately ten inches. Don’t worry if it’s a bit long. You can trim the ends once it’s tied.

7. Find your pet!!! Place the necklace around her neck. Pull the ribbon through each loop. This will bring both ends together. Tie a bow and secure the bow with a double knot.

8. Trim the ends of the ribbon.

Keep in mind that in no way should this pearl necklace be used as a replacement for a traditional collar. Corky wears her strand with a pink collar complete with license and tag. Most often, a couple of discreet tags are all you need to accessorize the collar or harness. Always have one with your name, address and phone number on it. And of course, add a rabies tag and city registration tag where required. The microchip is new and growing in popularity as an additional form of identification. This is an excellent idea, very modern and high-tech, and oh so James Bond like.

Now that you have created this fabulous collar for your dog or cat, remember to keep the ribbon fresh. Because the ribbon is easy to replace, you may choose to change it for whatever the occasion. Be creative and enjoy the process. I know I do”_.and so does Corky.

And there you have it.