Growing up in Southern California, dogs were always a huge part of my life. I loved all dogs, but I was particulaly fond of the big ones. And by big, I'm talking well over 100 lbs BIG! We had four adult Alaskan Malamutes, just enough for our very own sled dog team. We also had the occasional litter of puppies. There was no shortage of dogs around our house. Weekdays were always busy and it was hard to get all of the dogs out for walks, or enough play-time in the yard to burn off excess energy. On weekends, we went to the occassional dog show where Shalluck (our black and white male) competed in various events. He was quite the looker! As a kid, the best thing about a dog show was seeing the huge variety of dogs: big, furry working dogs; lean, short-haired hunting dogs; and little or smalls dogs with attitude. It was during these dog shows that I began to appreciate how many different types of dogs there were, and equally how it varied from person to person on what type of dog you preferred. The one consistent theme was how much everyone loved their dogs, and how much every dog loved the attention of their family. Every dog was loyal and attentive to his owners, and more impressive, was how every person was kind and gentle to their dog. Without exception. What an inspiration!
When we weren't at dog shows, we had some of our best weekends! Those were spent in the mountains, or at the beach, with all of our dogs. The beach trips were less often, but were great for training and running the dogs on the hard, packed sand, pulling a wheeled dog sled. But the mountain trips were by far the best! Those involved camping with an army of other dog lovers, participating in sled dog races. Talk about fun? There were longer races for the adults with multi-dog teams, and shorter races for the kids, usually with just a one-dog-team. There were other events, too. The weight pull was always a hit and one of our favorites. So what's a weight pull? It was a competition to see what dog was the strongest, measured by how much weight they could pull on a sled, and how far. Clever, huh? Every dog sled outing was an adventure to be treasured. Big, beautiful, happy dogs every where you looked. Every dog was excited to be there. Outdoors, with their families, doing what they loved most - running! Every dog in camp would rouse to the simple jangle of a dog harness and you could feel the excitement ramp up with dogs barking and howling every where. The races were fun and the dogs never seemed to get tired. Sled dog racing brought out the best in these dogs, and what it brought out in the families, well, it was even better yet! Every family doted over their dogs and tended to them following each event. Making sure there were no injuries, feeding the dogs calorie-rich food and ensuring they had plenty of fresh water and a warm, dry place to sleep. The atmosphere was always positive, cooperative, and very happy. Yes, these were some lucky dogs for sure, and life lessons for those of us fortunate to be there. Those days with our Malamutes were by far some of my best dog memories. What an inspiration!
As the years passed and our dogs crossed the rainbow bridge one-by-one, we became a family of empty dog beds. I always knew I would again one day invite special dogs into my family. I couldn't wait! Luther was my first dog, and we always referred to him as our first-born. He joined our family about 6 months before our daughter was born, and 2 years later, we had our son. It was like having 3 kids, and they were all best friends! Luther was gentle, kind, and extremely patient! We could take him anywhere, with anyone, and know he'd bring a smile to someones face, and provide a calming presence even in busy or chaotic places. Even when other dogs were assertive, Luther would never respond with aggression, often diffusing the situation. He was a great role model for our kids, with many teaching moments on how to win through kindness. Luther was with us until he was 16 years old and he was truly one of the best dogs a family could ever have. What an inspiration!
About the time Mod Dog Boutique was created, Wilson joined our family. He was nearly two years old and on the second chance program when we adopted him from the Oregon Humane Society. Wilson is my best friend, business partner and constant companion. He is with me all day, every day. He loves long walks, and hikes through the woods, But most of all, Wilson LOVES to play fetch. And by fetch, I mean he'll chase and retrieve literally anything you throw. And, he'll play fetch until he drops, or I drop - really! He can't get enough, and I love that about him. Wilson loves balls, his boomerang, his hurley bone dog toy and his bumper toy. These are by far his favorites! They're perfect in the water because they float, and in the snow because they're bright and easy to find. While I have always loved the outdoors, Wilson makes sure I get out every single day. He's always game for a walk through the neighborhood, or a romp at the park. He'll sit with me in the yard, or play ball in the field. He'll walk in the early morning, and go out with me after dark. In fact, he loves to play ball after dark with his light up ball - it's really cool! Rain or shine, Wilson get's me outside and he keeps me moving. What an inspiration!
It's not hard to see that I have a soft spot for larger dogs, but at Mod Dog Boutique, we really do love all dogs! In fact, some of my best friends have small dogs! These little guys depict what today's Mod Dog is all about! Little dogs are on the go and with their pet owners all of the time, whether traveling in a dog purse, or rolling around in a dog stroller, today's Mod Dog has it made! To honor all dogs and the inspiration we get from them, we launched the Mod Dog Buzz Daily Dip: Dogs, Inspiration, & Photos! It's our celebration of all dogs, big or small. Using social media, we share dog photos and a daily quote to inspire, motivate or sometimes just to brighten a day. Any one can follow the Mod Dog Buzz - we hope you will, too!
Regardless what you prefer, small dogs or large dogs, the one thing I know we can all agree on, is that all dogs are special. They are an inspiration in life and love. They have unwavering loyalty and unconditional love. It's true that your dog is the only thing that loves you more than he loves himself.
So tell us, what inspires you? Is it a big dog, or a little dog? Is it an old, rescue dog, or a young, energetic puppy. Is it one with a single coat of hair, or a double coat of fur? Does he shed, or is it a non-shedding boutique breed? If you're like us, it's probably all of the above! Tell us about it - we'd love to hear your dog inspiration story!