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“My little old dog: A heart-beat at my feet.”  Edith Wharton, American, 1862-1937

Today, on the cusp of another Valentine’s Day, there is something being celebrated called Quirkyalone Day.  Started in 2004 by writer, Sasha Cagen, Quirkyalone Day promotes the healthy state of being alone rather than dating for the sake of being a couple.  Sasha even wrote a book about it titled, Quirkyalone: A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics, Harper San Francisco 2001.

I mention this because although I’ve been married a respectable fifteen years this September, I did not marry until my late 30s, so this gives me a little cred when speaking of this subject.  While single, I did not let it stop me from traveling to Italy alone (unlike Ms. Gilbert in eat, pray love– I got ‘er done in one country).  Although these days a writing project does take me to those more mystical places, and although I may no longer be “alone” I am still quirky.

Valentine’s Day is not my favorite time of year because it is basically a “false” holiday these days…but it is great for the economy so I won’t bash it too much…and kids like it, too.  There, my husband is off the hook.  I thought about all this while at the Pre-Westminster Fashion Show in New York City on Friday Night, an incredible event put on by pet fashion expert, Ada Nieves.  I will note here that I will hear (or have heard it) from friends and family on how is it possible I can partake in any event that puts clothes on a dog.  As a reporter of sorts, my job is to present what happens in the “dog” world, and even in Will Judy’s time, back in the 1920s, this was a fashionable way to raise funds for shelter dogs (really, it’s in the book).

Recently, I contacted someone I knew a  long time ago.  I told him how, although we change in many ways over the years, the image of his family’s huge lovable cat remains an unchanged, happy memory for me.  Pets are a great way to provide companionship in our lives when we are in an independent state, help forge memories, and even take the occasional edge off normally harmonious long-term relationships.

One of the best parts of last Friday evening was seeing so many people united by their dogs and getting to meet some Facebook friends in person.  People like the lovely (and surprisingly tiny) Nikki Moustaki who is the genius behind the Petpostcard Project and is now eating dog food to bring attention to Nitro’s Law (more on this in my next post), the elegant Babette Haggerty, the renowned dog trainer and daughter of the late great Captain Arthur Haggerty, Barbara Babikian and her sweet pups, Lilly and Dusty who won honors this weekend for being Angels on Leashes to so many, and getting “pummeled” by a guy from Rescue Ink (really they are pussycats).  I also enjoyed meeting famous dog fashion designer, Linda Higgins and her husband Bill, seeing Janice Wolfe and Wyatt and Lourdes Lebron win honors for their work on behalf of dog and human, and of course the lovely sight of Bocker Labradoodle and Amanda (who played Julia Robert’s niece in eat, pray, love) on the “catwalk” among others.  And bless you Barbara for telling me I look much thinner in person! I am having difficulty downloading photos, so I will post more on Facebook…or try again…

Happy QA and Valentine’s Day to all…it’s all good

These events do bring a lot of attention to the never-ending problem of pet overpopulation in our nation.  Some of the dogs modeling were available for adoption and as stated before, a portion of the proceeds from the event will go to help the Sean Casey Animal Rescue fund.

renowned dog-trainer, Babette Haggerty, me, and r. Nikki Moustaki

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