What I Own: My Guilty Pleasures as a Dog Mom

Dog lovers unite: These canine-inspired items make tails wag (mine, at least).


I’m coming out: To be a dog lover means dog products stop me in my tracks. Seriously, I could be walking the aisles of a pet supply store or doing some late night browsing online, and if I stumble upon dog-themed goodies for people, my credit card ends up smoking.

In my dog-friendly travels, I’ve met many other folks who have this same affliction, or is that addiction? Though I’ve calmed down a bit in recent years, my collection of dog-themed goodies is quite impressive, albeit not worth a whole heck of a lot from a monetary standpoint. These items make me feel good. What they lack in cost, they make up for with the intrinsic warm fuzzies feeling they give me. Anyone else with me on this?

Here are some of my finest pieces from the Dog Mom Guilty Pleasures collection. Indulge me, if you will. (Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a “look at what I have that you don’t” article. I am hoping others relate and share their own dog-themed pleasure treasures!)

Aside from shoes, I love purses. I used to be one of those ladies who rotated purses with the season and to match the wardrobe, until I found this purse (and matching accessories) from the Sydney Love collection. I’ve purchased this purse twice in four years because I wear it out. With all of the cute bags I’ve had over the years, this one has started more conversations than I can count.

“Ooooh, where did you get that purse?” or “I love your handbag” is always a conversation starter. Dogs manage to initiate dialogue between strangers whether or not they are leashed by our side.

One of the things I tend to be drawn to are unique magnets, which I display on my metal office filling cabinet. I discovered some really clever ones recently. While on a trip to the Fetch! store in Portland, Maine, some of these magnets tossed themselves into my shopping bag. In light of my recent “Dogs are the New Kids” article, how could I resist the “OMG! I forgot to have kids” magnet from the Dog Is Good collection?

Love and marriage, sugar and tea, salt and pepper: These things all go together. This is definitely true for the Cocker Spaniel-themed magnetic noses salt and pepper shakers that introduced themselves to me. While perusing the very well-stocked aisles of Digs, Divots, and Dogs of Kennebunkport, Maine, I found these. I am trying not to become a tchotchke collector, but these were too cute to pass up.

Can any dog lovers’ home be complete without canine-themed artwork adorning the walls? Walk into my home and you know I love dogs within seconds.

When my Brandy Noel passed away in 2008, friends gifted me with a star from the International Star Registry. Though I realize one can never truly “own” a star, there is something comforting in knowing my little girl’s legacy burns brightly forever. The star came with its very own framed certificate, and I smile and take comfort in knowing our paths will meet again someday.

I admit to watching the Westminster Kennel Club yearly dog show every February. Something about the dogs traipsing across the Garden Green gives me goose bumps. Hearing David Frei, the voice of Westminster, calling the show and explaining the different breeds is one of my earliest memories that inspired me to want to work with and for dogs. I’ve since been able to cover the show at the Garden for two years, and imagine my glee in finally meeting David Frei. This poster is a framed souvenir of the 2004 show.

Diamonds are some girls’ best friends, but dogs are mine. That’s not to assume, however, that I don’t like to immerse myself in baubles and jeweled adornments of a canine theme. In other words, dog jewelry rocks my world.

These Cocker Spaniel earrings from the Bradford Exchange were gifted to me for Christmas a few years back, and I adore them.

No outfit is complete without some canine-themed bracelets and brooches. My buddy, Lisa Taron aka The Pet Book Lady, has an array of products for dog lovers. I love my dog-inspired bracelet featuring my late dog, Brandy, and my Dexter.

For those times that merit a ponytail (aka bad hair days), I like to top off my look with a baseball cap. Check out this cute embroidered dog-inspired hat I found at Scalawags of Kennebunkport, Maine.

Rounding out my collection are the odds and ends, such as tote bags and stickers that sum up my personality. This bag from Pet Jetsetter has an array of pockets for bowls, treats, and clean-up bags, and I can carry all my goodies inside, too. Bonus: I had it embroidered with my blog name on one side and my dog’s name on the other!

Making one’s way through my office, a few items stand out, like the Cocker Spaniel Welcome sign and the decals and stickers I find at expos and shows. I particularly love the “My Cocker Spaniel is Smarter than Your Honor Student” sticker, which, when displayed in my car’s rear window, has garnered many a honk and thumbs up from fellow dog-loving drivers.

So there you have it: Some of my favorite finds and guilty pleasures of dog-themed items. Do you have any items that tickle your canine fancy? Bark at us below. Better yet, attach a photo with your comment. Besides, I’m always on the prowl for new items to add to the collection.

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