Monocle Magazine : Dog Ambassadors

Monocle Magazine's Dog Ambassadors Article

My hands-down favorite magazine is Monocle. It’s the one publication that keeps me hanging around the post office each month, waiting for its delivery. And if I’m not reading it, I’m listening to their Monocle 24 streaming radio content while I’m working. There are several reasons why I like it so much: international coverage of news, culture, business, design, travel, cuisine. But I think the biggest reason I love it is for their commitment to coverage of entrepreneurs—like me! They’re always spotlighting someone somewhere that’s committed to their pursuit of quality, craftsmanship and their dream.

Now there’s a new reason for me to love Monocle: a story about dogs in their upcoming issue. This story features four ambassadors and their dogs, and the “soft power” created by these important members of their respective diplomatic missions. Featured in the story are, clockwise from the top left: Deckard the Standard Poodle with US Ambassador to Finland Bruce Oreck; Herman the Shiba Inu with Danish Ambassador to Japan A. Carsten Damsgaard; Tchui the Labrador with UK High Commissioner to Kenya Christian Turner; and Füles the Golden Retriever with Péter Györkös, Hungary’s ambassador to the European Union. It’s a great story with an inside look at what goes on in the world of international relations, and points out that sometimes the best path to goodwill between nations is created by the presence of a dog. Sweet.

You can find the full Monocle story here.

Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.

Photos copyright and courtesy of Monocle Magazine.

 

Stella is a Star

Our Girl Stella

World, meet Stella. Lei è una stella, she’s a star. And if you read my last post, she might seem a little bit familiar to you. They called her Fern, this little one. They couldn’t understand how she’d been overlooked, why no one came to rescue her. But there are too many, they keep coming, the clock keeps ticking. Her time was running out and before I knew it, I’d dialed the shelter to say she will have a home. Our home.

It’s nerve-wracking when deciding to adopt a new dog. Especially when you haven’t even met the dog in person, you’re flying completely by instinct. But one thing I did know: I wouldn’t let her die, no way would that happen. Yes, the risk would be taken. She hadn’t been given the chance to live yet, and that’s just not acceptable. Not enough days in the sunshine, maybe none snoozing in front of a toasty fire, and I’m pretty sure no time at all spent frolicking on any beaches. And what about nicknames—which all dogs must acquire, in addition to the requisite sing-songs and ditties that are made up one day at a time. Those things hadn’t happened yet for her. So, no. No dying, only living.

Stella's Freedom Snooze

On the long drive home, she insisted on snoozing on my lap and I could tell she was really thankful. But I was also thankful that I’d been given the chance to save her. And thankful to this shelter, and all of the shelters, and all of the foster homes that provide safe haven for these guys that society has neglected and discarded. These people do an incredible job, the elaborate networks they’ve built on Facebook and everywhere else, giving their time and resources and love. It’s 24 hours a day, and it never slows down. This Thanksgiving I’m thinking of these people and hope they know how much their difficult and often heartbreaking work makes the world a better place. One adoption at a time.

Stella Snoozes with George and Chappie

Stella says she agrees, but for now she’s getting some rest with her new dog family. After all, she knows she’s got a lot of nicknames to learn and some serious catching up to do. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

And here is a super list of 10 dog-related things to be thankful for by The Bark Magazine. Enjoy, and no calories!

Erica Preo is CEO & Creative Director of Pantofola, pure luxury Italian goods for dogs.

Capa of Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Since I did a post a few days ago about the dogs of Robert Sinskey Vineyards, I thought I should do a separate post on Capa, the one that originally caught my eye. So yes, what we have here is a photographic prequel, a tribute to a dog and forever a member of the Sinskey Vineyard family. I’m sure they are still telling stories about him and a life well lived among the vines.

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Capa from Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Thanks, Rob.

All images courtesy and copyright Robert Sinskey.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards

Robert Sinskey Vineyard and Dog

When you’re a designer working directly with different clients, not only do you get to meet lots of wonderful people, you also get to step into their world for a while and see what it’s like. So I’d have to say that the world of wine and vineyard life in general is pretty darn sweet. And if you’re a dog that gets to live that vineyard life, it must be heaven on earth.

A few years ago (okay, like twelve or thirteen) I was lucky to get to work with just such a client, Robert Sinskey Vineyards in Napa Valley. And as it turns out, Rob Sinskey is also a professional photographer so we were able to use his work in the piece we were producing. After a quick scan through the shots, I was thrilled to see some that included his dog Capa and made sure to select those for the book. Capa was a handsome border collie who lived to a ripe old age of 16, and Rob says he ended up naming the vineyard after him. Now there are two dogs that have taken over Capa’s job (playing, frolicking, running up and down the rows of vines, basking in that golden Napa Valley sunshine, stuff like that), and their names are Paolo and Phoenix. Here are some of Rob’s photos of the lucky duo:

Robert Sinskey's Paolo and Phoenix

Robert Sinskey Vineyard resident dog

Robert Sinskey Vineyard dog portrait

Robert Sinskey Vineyards dog

In addition to being a dog’s paradise, Robert Sinskey Vineyards is a terrific place for people also… and that’s lucky for us! Of course there are wonderful tastings and tours, but spending an afternoon relaxing on their terrace with a bottle of wine is also just bliss. Their tagline is “Fine wines from organic vines” but there’s so much more than that. I would say this vineyard and its staff really put their hearts into their work, and you can feel that passion when you walk through their doors. And you can usually smell something wonderful wafting from the kitchen…

Robert Sinskey Vineyards property images

Robert Sinskey Vineyards has a great website with lots of nifty information about their vineyard and wines (and of course gorgeous photography). In addition to offering single bottles or gift sets of their wines, they also sell stellar cookbooks by renowned chef Maria Helm Sinskey, and wool skeins and knitting kits using the wool from their own sheep! Okay, so there are some pretty happy sheep there, too. And chickens. And probably a cat or two.

You can find a separate post dedicated to Capa here.

Robert Sinskey Vineyards   6320 Silverado Trail   Napa, California 94558   707.944.9090

All dog photos courtesy and copyright Robert Sinskey.

Molto Bene: Dogs + Gelato

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Today in Varese I visited Buosi, the best gelato place in town, as I was told by two locals. Okay, so I was there yesterday too, but today I also met some great dogs and their really nice owners. And, I think I have a reputation now around Varese as the odd dog following lady: I was recognized by the people who own that gigantic Bernese mountain dog in my last post. Oh well, they were smiling when they saw me!

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These two had a few of those little biscotti for a snack and they were pretty happy. The one at the back is 14, maybe that’s the trick for a long life?

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Happiest Dogs in the Whole USA

Uncle and lucky dogs

Okay, so I don’t know if that’s true, but it could be! This is my uncle and his two lucky dogs: Ellewood (Ellie) and Potomac (Mac). Ellie was a little foundling puppy he was given after his other dog passed away, and Mac was a rescue he adopted from BROOD (Basset Rescue of Old Dominion). But I think what makes these dogs happy is something I think would make anyone happy: they’ve spent their lives in some of the most beautiful and incredible places America has to offer. My uncle spent 25 years with the National Park Service as a Chief Ranger, moving every few years from one picture perfect national park to another. So I’m thinking that beats any corner office, and these two happy pups have been along for some of that glorious American ride.

Step Right This Way

Chocolate Lab in Florence, Italy

Recently in Florence, Italy as I was rushing like a crazy person to a meeting, I came across this goofy dog on the sidewalk. I didn’t see anyone with her, so of course I had to stop because I thought she was lost (although I had no idea what I was going to do about it). After I stood there for a minute or so, she laid down and flopped open, what a ham! Then I realized (doh!) I was right in front of the fancy Lord Bau dog boutique. So I guess her job was to work the sidewalk, model stuff and look charming to lure people inside. Yes. I went in. But that got me thinking: if a women’s boutique did the same thing…sending out a sweet young thing to wiggle and work the sidewalk. Um, no. I guess then it would seem more like a strip club (or worse). Yep, dogs get away with everything.