Saturday, January 13, 2018

Seeking Chic: Preparing for Puppy

Welcome to my first installment of Seeking Chic, a new series where I share a curated selection of every day functional items for the home and life that meet my two most important criteria: 1. It must be (somewhat) budget friendly, and 2. It must be good looking. Think of this as your go-to guide for finding those form-meets-function everyday objects that won't break the bank.

When my psychic (aka: my very spiritual cousin) did a tarot card reading on me two years ago, she told me that I would meet the love of my life at the age of 27. Oddly enough, both my numerology chart and zodiac birth chart also indicated that 27 would be a very important year in my life. I only just turned 27 in November, so never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would find that love so quickly. Even more surprising, I never imagined that the love of my life would end up being a dog.

I'm still a few weeks away from bringing my sweet fur baby home (she's a purebred sheltie and just reached 6 weeks old this past Thursday), but I've been busy shopping and preparing for her arrival like some people prepare for actual human children. I may or may not have even created her own little "room" within the niche next to my fireplace (more details to come, stay tuned) and I've already set up her own Instagram account. It turns out that pet ownership is fully unleashing my inner crazy dog lady, and I'm going to be such a shameless stage mom. Spoiler alert: I don't hate it.

When I first started shopping for puppy supplies, I quickly discovered that everything out on the market is just so...basic. Basic collars, basic bowls, basic ugly dog beds. It hurts my designer heart. So I did some digging, exercised my Pinterest and Etsy skills, and put together a nice little collection of puppy products that I don't want to hide in a closet. Here's the things I've bought and stare at lovingly, impatiently counting down the days until my little bundle of fluff comes home.

1. Martingale Collar by Dog + Bone - After doing quite a bit of research, I found that Martingale collars are highly recommended for shelties due to their notoriously slippery heads (they wiggle out of typical buckle collars very easily). Having grown up with a sheltie that couldn't go for a walk without slipping her collar at least once, I was totally on board with the Martingale route. Wanna guess what I wasn't on board with? Yeah, they're effing hideous. It took some digging, but I was able to find this beautiful handmade Martingale from Dog + Bone, a local company in Austin, Texas. I love the simplicity in its design, the color combination of a bright purple and deep navy, and (most importantly) the brass hardware.

2. Adjustable Leash by Dog + Bone - To match puppy's new collar, I got a purple adjustable leash from Dog + Bone. Lead leashes are the best option for puppy training, and I liked that this one has a D-ring for attachments. It also has a buckle for clipping around posts or chair legs, which is a feature I didn't even know I wanted, but will be great when the pup and I have Sunday brunch at one of the patios on Lower Greenville.

3. Custom ID Tag by Ara Designs at Engrave for Me Pet Tags - You find me a gold/brass dog tag at your local pet store, and I will give you a damn trophy. I think I went to six pet stores throughout Dallas before I gave up and decided to just order one online. I found this option on Etsy, and I could not be more pleased with the end product. I went with the medium circle tag in brass with a hammered edge. It's such a nice detail, and I love how it looks unlike anything I've ever seen before. Puppy's name (Auden) is engraved on the front with my phone number on the back, and then you can choose from a bank of 57 images to add under the name. I went with a moon and stars because puppy's middle name is Luna, and I loved that the stars looked like those from the Harry Potter books since she's named after Luna Lovegood. This tag was meant to be!

4. Doggie Bag Holder by The Foggy Dog - On the topic of ugly dog products...doggie bag holders don't tend to lean toward what I consider to be fashionable. I love this option that I found on Etsy, and the clip hooks on nicely to the Dog + Bone leash. Added plus: the hardware is brass. Cohesion really helps me sleep at night.

5. Retractable Leash - In addition to the lead leash, I knew I wanted a retractable leash for those days that I take Auden to the lake and want to let her run around a bit. I found this one on Amazon, and it's one of the prettier retractable leashes I've seen. The white body is clean and simple, with black leather details that create a comfortable grip on the handle. A matching doggie bag holder was also included.

6. Ceramic Dog Bowl by Susabellas - Ah, food bowls...another dog product that tends to be either super utilitarian or super cheesy (think paw print patterns or polka dots). I knew upfront that I wanted white ceramic bowls with a fun gold detail, and this bowl was just kind of too perfect. I tend to be personally offended by anything that has bones and paws on it, but the details on these bowls are so beautiful and not kitschy that I'm weirdly okay with it.

7. Decorative Basket by Pillowfort at Target - I'm obsessed with this seagrass and rattan basket for housing all of Auden's toys (and believe me, she has many). It's so pretty and looks perfect in my living room with the rest of my decor.

8. Poochie Bells - I plan on training Auden to ring a bell when she needs to go outside while we're potty training, and Poochie Bells are made exactly for that purpose. It's basically a ribbon of fabric with sleigh bells, meant to hang on your door knob at the perfect length for puppy to swat at it. The solid black ties in with my living room design scheme, and it's pretty nondescript on my back door.

9. Baby Blanket - I bought a couple baby blankets for Auden to snuggle while she's in her crate or lounging in her "room," and this reversible XOXO one I found on Amazon is equal parts cute and inconspicuous. Love.

10. Snuggle Puppy Behavioral Aid Toy - While not exactly "chic," I did have to include this toy just because I am so in love with the concept. This stuffed puppy has a battery operated beating heart and a pocket for adding a disposable heat pack, giving your pup the comfort of sleeping with one of its litter mates. I've been told it's a God send during those first few nights when puppy is adjusting to sleeping alone, so I'm excited to test it out.

11. Funny Stuffed Toys - In addition to the more practical rubber bones, tennis balls, and rope toys I've purchased, I am already spoiling Miss Auden with all the stuffed and squeaky toys her little heart desires. I love the balanced diet of a squeaky avocado (Target), donut (Target), and grapefruit (Petco) - these toys are equal parts bougie and hilarious.