Haute Under the (Dog) Collar

dog collars
Decisions, decisions! Dog collars for every occasion.


Motherhood can take many forms. The busier my girls get, the more I transfer my smothering to my schnauzer, Oscar.

Not long ago, a friend commented on Oscar’s copious dog collar collection (Hi Gretch!). I was thrilled that someone noticed and explained that we’re all lucky he’s not a girly teacup pup because if he were, he’d most definitely be dressed to the nines. Why I have this compulsion, I’m not entirely sure. But fortunately for Oscar, and everyone else who knows me, he does not like to be weighed down with uncomfortable canine apparel.  The one time I put a t-shirt on him, he froze and wouldn’t move a muscle. It was a Thing 2 t-shirt! It would’ve been so cute for one of my girls to wear Thing 1 with him in Thing 2.

Dressing Oscar?

Alas, I won’t torture my poor boy, but there is something I oddly enjoy about dressing a dog.  They have personalities after all and what better way to express yourself than through your wardrobe.  Luckily, my fashion affinity is not entirely lost on Oscar.  I’ve channeled my desire to adorn him through collars.

Oscar’s Dog Collar Collection

He has sports dog collars, Christmas dog collars, weekend/leisure dog collars and two signature mustache collars.  However, my all-time favorite is what I like to call his “business tie.”


Schnauzer dog collar


His business collar gives him an air of sophistication and professionalism that seems to suit (pun intended) his serious demeanor. I put it on him on Mondays and together we are back to business with focus and determination. Yeah, I know I’m nuts.

Where to Buy Dog Collars

My favorite dog collars can be found at Ciao! Bow Wow in North Andover. Mel LaRocca is the owner and she stocks her specialty pet store with the most adorable assortment of collars, among other great pet foods and items. I’m particularly fond of the Yellow Dog Design line which, in a medium, is just the right size and weight.

All this collar talk has suddenly given me the urge to run down to Ciao! Bow Wow for a new look for my little man…

I’m back and wouldn’t you know I’ve found not one, but two new options. I couldn’t resist the funny face collar for Oscar’s rare, silly days and although he already has a Red Sox collar, I find it a bit cumbersome, so the new version is sure to get much more wear.


Red Sox and silly face dog collars from Ciao! Bow Wow
Today’s new collars courtesy of Ciao! Bow Wow


Ok, I’ve shared my crazy dog lady side, what crazy things do you do for your dog?

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I Love my Dog: An Ode to Oscar the Grouch

Holding my dog Oscar
Oscar the Schnauzer – look at that face!


I love my dog! I really love him.  Is that weird?  I know my fellow dog lovers won’t think so. Dog love is hard to explain. It’s essentially the same kind of love you might have for a child because, let’s face it, our furry friends become our babies. But some will argue; they aren’t children, they’re dogs. I understand and I’m sure people who don’t share the same passion for pets probably think we, dog lovers, are nuts. But since Oscar came into my life, I can’t stop myself from coddling and spoiling him – for that I will not apologize.

We adopted Oscar when he was seven and now he’s ten.  I think the fact that he was older when we got him made me attend to him all the more. He’s my little old man and an easy dog too. Even Tony (my husband), who vehemently didn’t want a dog, reveres Sir Oscar. You know the story – man didn’t want dog, now dog is man’s best friend…

Tony says he wishes he were a dog; now seeing what a charmed life Oscar is living. Sleep, food, walk, love and attention – it’s all good.

We are a family obsessed. My girls’ devotion to him has not waned a bit since the day we got him, my sister is as in love with him as I am and, somehow, every conversation circles back to him.

The funny thing about Oscar is that while we adore him, pamper him and treat him like the regal king that he is, he seems generally irritated by all of us. He likes to do his own thing most of the time and when we frequently scurry around to hug him or pick him up, his expression of pure exacerbation cracks us up. We’re never offended, because his aloofness is part of his charm. He may be a wee standoffish, but he’s a sweet boy, so he lets us have time with him. If a dog could roll his eyes in utter annoyance, I know that’s exactly what Oscar would do.  Instead, he just gives us a minute and then frantically squirms until we are forced to let him out of our affectionate grasp.

The fact that Oscar is a little grouchy actually makes him even more endearing. It may be why I love my dog the most. In a way, it’s nice that he’s not jumping all over us, licking or demanding play time.  He’s just a mellow guy who we somehow got lucky enough to call our own.

So, if you ever see me baby-talking to my dog or fussing over his every need like he’s a toddler, don’t think me crazy, it’s just that I love my schnauzer -A lot!

kisses for my dog Oscar


I know I’m not alone. What do you love most about your pet?

TBT –  Check out my Merrimack Valley Magazine column about Oscar from September 2014 – Matters of Life & Beth.

Thank you Jen Killilea for the photos!

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