The Name is Bug…Ladybug

Photographer Amanda Jones' dogs Ladybug and Benny

No matter what your parents do for a living, you benefit from it. Not just because they bought you socks (in my day) or bought you an iPhone (these days), but because their career experience directly benefits you. For example, my dad was an aircraft engineer so whenever flying gives me the willies, I call upon the knowledge and reassurance he provided over the years (turbulence is really nothing, flying is safer than driving, etc.). Of course back then, a candy maker or baker dad might have made me happier. As it turns out, a dentist parent also would have been handy.

Now if either parent happens to be a professional photographer, you’re going to grow up with every moment of your life beautifully documented. This benefit, of course, extends to our four-legged friends. In the case of rescue Ladybug, at left in the photo above, you hit the jackpot: a loving home AND professional photographer Amanda Jones as your mom.

A few posts back, I announced the launch of my own brand of Italian-made luxe dog accessories, Pantofola. I was very fortunate to have crossed paths with Amanda thirteen years ago and I’ve been a huge fan ever since: Amanda’s beautiful work is featured on my website, dogs of all shapes and sizes modeling Pantofola collars. I hit the jackpot, too.

Photographer Amanda Jones' dogs Benny and Ladybug

Recently Amanda started sniffing around for a new addition to her family, a sibling for Benny. Thanks to Instagram, she spotted Ladybug who was being fostered by a rescue group in the New York area. She had actually come from Oklahoma, a long journey for a little dog who was looking for her perfect home. Thanks to the network of rescues and fosters, she definitely found it. She’s all settled in, these photos were taken just 3 days after being adopted last weekend. Benny is performing his due diligence and checking her over to be sure she’s not a spy or anything like that.

We think she’s perfect—definitely not a spy—and wears our Pantofola collar well. You’ve come a long way, Bug. Welcome to the big time!

If you’d like to see more of Amanda’s work, or schedule your own session with her please visit her website here. She will be in these cities over the next few months:

Houston, TX | April 8
Tucson, AZ | April 11
San Francisco, CA | April 25 – 26
New York, NY | May 9 – 10
Chicago, IL | June 9 – 10
Nantucket, MA | June 20 – 21
Portland, OR | July 25 – 26
Bend, OR | July 29 – 30
Seattle, WA | August 1 – 2
Denver, CO | August 22
Vail, CO | August 23

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

Photos courtesy and copyright Amanda Jones Photography.

What I Did Last Summer

Pantofola luxury dog collars, Collezione Caramelle

Okay, the subject of this post is a little misleading…it was more than just last summer. And more than the summer before, actually it’s been lots of summers. Because it takes a long time to get something perfect, and that was my mission. But I chose to name this post “What I Did Last Summer” because it’s my first post since June of last year. Good grief!

If you’ve ever read my About page, you know that I’ve been working on launching my own line of luxury dog accessories called Pantofola that are made in Italy. So I travel there a few times each year, attending leather trade fairs, meeting with factories, flying around in a Fiat 500 (or enduring rail strikes), having good coffee, and taking pictures of dogs that I come across. For some time now I’ve been “that crazy American lady making dog collars” everywhere I go. Last summer I made three separate trips to London and one to Milan, and just a few days ago my website launched…hooray!!

Handsome doxie wearing Pantofola Mezzanotte collar in Luna

We have handsome collars for the little guys, and of course the not-so-little guys.

Black Lab wearing Pantofola Caramelle collar in Cielo

A very important aspect of Pantofola is to donate a minimum of 10% of our profits to dog rescue organizations around the world. Here in the US, we’ll choose an organization each quarter and make their day with a surprise gift. For sales outside of the United States, we’re donating to London-based Dogs Trust. They are a wonderful charity organization with a long track record going back to 1891, and their promise is never to destroy a healthy dog. In addition to rehoming dogs through their 20 centers in the UK (almost 15,000 just last year!), they go beyond their borders to train veterinarians in remote parts of the world where none exist, and they work to eradicate rabies in developing countries. I’m working on a separate post about our partnership, but in the meantime you can find more information about them here on their website.

Until next time…

Lhasa in Pantofola Caramelle collar in Liquirizia


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

All images copyright Pantofola, Inc. / Dog photos also protected under separate copyright Amanda Jones Photography.


Giving Our Regards to Broadway

Pantofola collars & dog

So happy and honored to be donating an official Pantofola collar to this year’s annual Broadway Barks fundraiser taking place July 13th in the heart of New York’s theater district!

Now in its 15th year, Broadway Barks was started by Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters with the goal of raising donations and awareness for New York City animal shelters and adoption agencies. The event takes place in Shubert Alley (located between 44th and 45th Streets, between Broadway and Eighth Avenues) from 3:30 to 6:30pm. There are raffles, autographs, and a parade onstage of adoptable animals that are shown by Broadway celebrities and glitterati. This year’s show opens with a performance from the Jersey Boys, which I’m sure will be fantastic. You can see the full list of stars and events here.

So, all together now—

“Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Herald Square,
Tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street, that I will soon be there;
Whisper of how I’m yearning to mingle with the old time throng;
Give my regards to old Broadway and say that I’ll be there ere long.”

The In-Betweens

Looking out along the Ligurian coast in Camogli

It’s about that time. The time when I get all of my big ideas and crossed fingers (so to speak) packed up for the next trip to Italy for Pantofola. All I have to do is keep my eye on the horizon for inspiration, just like every other explorer ever, reminding myself that anything is possible even when you’re a small entrepreneur with a carry-on bag full of crossed fingers.

Certainly having your own business has its perks, everybody knows that. But when that business involves regular travel to a place like Italy, those perks are pretty darn perky. Sure, there is a certain amount of stress with running around, business discussions, putting your best foot forward and feeling like you’re always on the mark. That’s all pretty exhilarating. But there are also the in-between moments and experiences, and that is the best part.

Images from business travel trips to Italy

Sometimes you can capture those moments in pictures or videos, but not always. It might just be the scent of freshly baked chocolate croissants or a few minutes of eavesdropping on gossip in a café. Or a brief but memorable interaction. On a recent rail journey, I sat in my window seat dreading the moment I’d have to get my bag down from the overhead rack because it was pretty heavy. And it’s not that I couldn’t get it down myself, but I figured it wouldn’t be very graceful and I didn’t want to whack anyone. As we approached my station, I stepped over the guy next to me and stood in the aisle, trying to keep my balance. When I felt fairly stable, I reached above but suddenly a guy on the other side of the aisle (who looked a lot like Viggo Mortensen) looked up from his phone, jumped up and got the bag down for me safely. Embarrassed at the weight of the bag, I thanked him and apologized about it, but of course he said the perfect suave Italian guy thing in the perfect nonchalant manner: “It was my pleasure to help you, so it was no problem.” Swoon. Oh. Okay. Well, that I’ll remember. No photo necessary.

More images of trips to Italy