Second Chance: Furry Fashion Forward

Are dogs a fashion statement? Many would say yes. And as a dog, I can’t exactly argue that alleged fact. Fashion is after all an outer reflection of the inner person, which helps in understanding and/or connecting with individuals. Think about how you react when you see a large man with a small dog versus a large man with a large dog; it is human nature – though not necessarily proper or accurate – to form a judgment about a personality.

Naturally the fashion world turns to dogs to help make a splash or a statement and that is a good thing because it helps to promote the fact that dogs are part of a lifestyle, one that you miss out on if you don’t have a fabulous furry friend. Fact is people simply look better with a dog at their side.



However, I want to make it clear that pets are not to be mistaken as fashion accessories. Getting a pet because it will make you look good is a bad idea. Not only does it fuel puppy mills – and as a puppy mill survivor I have to say those places are simply an abomination –but the attitude also leads to many discarded pets after they have outgrown their cute puppy faces.

Fans of fashion-forward celebrity glamourites place a high demand on “Handbag Dogs,” but owners of the wee dogs soon discovered that a dog can be a problematic accessory – they don’t, as a rule, like being zipped up in bags. Or it could be that the celebrities have moved on to bigger dogs. So the helpless little critters are being abandoned and discarded at the same time puppy mills are still cranking out more.

So let’s remember: It is better to feel good on the inside than look good on the outside; pets are for life, not for catching someone’s eye. (Though, again, we do.)

While on the topic of fashion this would be a great time to mention that next week is the 10th Annual Wine & Whiskers Weekend (March 9 & 11), here in Ridgway. Wine & Whiskers is where fashion and fun are mixed to raise money for the region’s homeless pets like me! If you have never attended this event, you simply need to give it a go…

My name is Annika. I am a beautiful, young German Shephard, who believes that love is the best fashion statement of all. Because of my rough history (mentioned above) and lack of socialization as a puppy, I am very unsure of people and new situations and have not learned to fully trust humans. I have been making tremendous progress since being rescued by Second Chance, but will need a family with lots of patience and kindness to help me continue to flourish. I look forward to meeting my first family…





Another fashion icon is Star, a young feline here at Second Chance who is not quite a year old. Star has been at the shelter since she was around two months old (sadly, most of her life…) despite being a very confident and playful kitten who loves to receive pets, chin scratches, and lap time. Star enjoys playing with other cats and seems very independent, but really ready for a family of her own. She feels that fashion approval is best expressed through soft purring.

Editor’s note: It’s no secret. The Telluride region is dog heaven. Well, pet heaven. Unless you are one of our furry friends who gets caught in the maw of neglect and abuse. Then heaven is on hold until Second Chance Humane Society comes to the rescue. Second Chance is the region’s nonprofit dedicated to saving animals’ lives and promoting responsible pet parenting and human-animal bond. In her weekly blog, executive director Kelly Goodin profiles at least one, generally two of the many animals now living at the no-kill shelter, Angel Ridge Shelter, a dog and a cat, hoping to find them loving permanent homes. The column is sponsored by Ted Hoff of Cottonwood Ranch & Kennel, who from time to time exercises his skills as a dog whisperer, partnering with Kelly and her staff to help train a particularly challenging animal.

Ted Hoff & Mae

Ted Hoff &  Magnificent Mae

By the by, there is no better place to park your pup or get your pup (or adult dog) trained than Cottonwood whenever you head out of town (for locals) or are heading to town and staying somewhere that does not allow pets. Consider joining Ted’s Very Important Dog (VID) Club for added benies. (Details on Ted’s website.)

Second Chance Humane Society Animal Resource Center and Thrift Shop are both located in Ridgway, but service San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties. Call the SCHS Helpline at 626-2273 to report a lost pet, learn about adopting a homeless pet, or about the SCHS Spay/Neuter, Volunteer, Feral Cat, or other Programs. View the shelter pets and services online:

Vetting the Vet: Dr. Michelle Dally, DVM, J.D. is Medical Director of Second Chance Humane Society. She also has a private practice, Dally Veterinary Medicine, 333 S. Elizabeth Street, Ridgway, Colorado. Her service area is  San Miguel Mesas, Placerville, Ridgway, Ouray, and Montrose. For more on Dr. Dally, go here.

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