Sometimes Christmas sneaks up on us and we find that we need last minute gifts for the dog lovers in our worlds. I wanted to share with you a few places you can look for gifts that I know I would be tickled to get.
Gifts Under $20
One of my favorite “shops” on the Internet to visit is the ebay store called Haute Objets D’Art Dog Collectibles, which belongs to fellow dog person Jerome Elliott. At Jerome’s site you can find old prints, cigarette cards, postage stamps, playing cards and all other manner of paper items depicting any breed you can imagine, including rare breeds such as the Akbash, Basset Fauve de Bretagne and Chinook, and even breeds you may not have ever heard of, such as the Perdigueiro Port Pointer, Armat Egyptian dog and the Balkan Hound.
More importantly, though, there are many beautiful items available for all of the breeds that are more familiar to us, and I love having unique collectibles that portray my breeds and the breeds I love. You could easily create a beautiful little collection of two or three pieces or more on one breed or a combination of breeds for less than $20.
If it’s the dog you’re shopping for, a few years ago someone sent my Poodle girls a package of Wet Noses treats, and they loved them. These are 100-percent organic dog cookies made with human grade ingredients, and they’re made right here in the good old U.S.A. For the holidays they have flavors like sweet potato pie and apple pie, in addition to the usual pumpkin, cheddar, peanut butter and other flavors. The website is fairly new, so they’re offering $5 flat rate shipping right now. At $7.95 per package, the price is right in line with other organic offerings, if not a bit less.
For Dogs and Dog People
One of my very favorite places to look for terrific dog-related gifts is at In the Company of Dogs, which has both a printed catalog and a website. ITCD has items for dogs and their people that are unique and adorable, including bowls, beds, blankets, toys, treats and more for Fido, and pillows, planters, prints, T-shirts, topiaries and so much more for humans who love dogs. You can find really lovely little gifts for as little as $25, but there is a wide variety of items to choose from in any price range.
Among my favorite items are those for the garden, including the “Bird Bistro,” a whimsical bird feeder crafted from metal with a handsome black dog with a bluebird sitting on his head who watches over the birdseed. I love the hand-hooked wool pillows and the sweatshirts that proudly proclaim a love of dogs. I’m mad for the Wellies with Foxhounds on them. There’s so much to love at In the Company of Dogs!
Now we’ll kind of get into “extravagant” territory, depending on who you’re shopping for, but one of the favorite dog-related gifts I’ve ever gotten was a beautiful little tin of cookies in the shape of Poodles from Eleni’s Bakery in New York City. Eleni’s now offers not just beautiful, delicious little Poodle cookies, they also have Golden Retrievers, Pugs, Sheepdogs and Dalmatians, Dachshunds, Cavaliers, Westies and Bulldogs, as well as dog bones and fire hydrants. They’re so delightful to look at, and they really are delicious besides. The “Best in Show” box of cookies, which includes sparkly black, white and pink Poodles, is $37.50, while “Chester’s Holiday Party” is a collection of six different breeds all dressed in Santa Claus outfits for $65. “Firehouse Heroes” and “Dog Park” are other options with dogs included. They’re such a treat.
A Little Bit of Everything
If none of the above is exactly what you were looking for, here’s my best suggestion. There’s one place on the Internet where, if you can’t find something doggy you love, you must be practicallyimpossible to please. That place is etsy.com. Etsy is so chockfull of the most unique handcrafted items that anyone should be able to find an ideal little gift there for the dog or dog lover in their life.
Here are just a few examples: Patty at the Flipcovers shop makes gorgeous dog bed covers that you can stuff with fluffy bed pillows to make the perfect lounging spot for your best friend. She’s just one artisan who makes dog beds on Etsy, and the fabrics she’s used are so stylish and appealing. There are dozens of beautiful hand-knit sweaters and scarves for dogs, and a quick search for “dog toys” turned up 14,000 items. If you buy dog toys to amuse yourself as much as your pooch, check out Sew Strange Creations or fugly friend for handmade squeaky creatures.
If it’s a human gift you need, search for “dog art,” and more than 70,000 items are available, from vintage posters and unique pop art to sculptures in wire, stone or paper mache. You’ll find the most gorgeous needle-felted dogs in every imaginable breed, and other types of textile art as well.
With so many artists offering their creations on Etsy, you’ll find things you’ve never seen before. For something humorous, artist Brian Rubenacker has created the most adorable scenes that portray different breeds doing funny things, like the pair of Dachshunds in “The Bone Thieves” who, with one standing on the other’s shoulders, are attempting to steal cookies with a fishing pole, or the Boston Terrier pool party where more than a half-dozen black-and-whites enjoy a swim or sunbathing. Dolan and Ali Marie Gelman, from Chicago, make breed-specific artwork the likes of which I’ve never seen before, using what they call “rescued” materials that create one-of-a-kind wall hangings.
Artist Miriam Schulman offers an original hand-drawn and hand-painted watercolor created from your photograph for less than $130. Check out the leather wallets with dog head studies hand-painted on them by Danielle Theos. They are beautiful representations of most breeds.
Then there are the jewelry and lawn art and collars and note cards and stationary and cosmetic bags and baby clothes, and so much more. Just go see… you’ll be amazed at the wonderful things you find.
And don’t forget that all of the talented folks whose work is included in the Best In Show Daily Art and Photo Galleries accept commissions, and who wouldn’t love an original portrait of their most beloved dog? Of course, your gift would have to be the promise of a beautiful portrait, since it often takes several months for these artists to complete a commission, but what a thoughtful gift that would be.
I hope this helps with your last minute shopping. Happy holidays!