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2010-02-10 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Valentines Day is just around the corner. What gift did you get your dog? Forget chocolate. It is toxic to them. Well, if diamonds are a girl’s best friend and dogs are man’s best friend, then diamonds must be a dog’s best friend too. How’s that for circular reasoning?

Your dear dog deserves the best. Money is no object, so let’s start at the top. Sure, you can go to Tiffany’s but the diamond division of i Love Dogs, Inc. (www. ilovedogsdiamonds.com) specializes in the world’s most expensive dog collars, superbly crafted gem neck adornments for your beloved pooch. This Torrance, California-based parent company celebrates the affection we have for our dogs and also markets apparel for people and pets plus dog vitamins and supplements.

The i Love Dogs diamond collection was designed by their affiliate master jewelers on 5th Avenue in NYC. Visit the above website to see “La Collection De Bijoux Collection”, featuring six fine collar styles that range in price from $150,000 (La Jeune Tulipe) to $3.2 million (Amour, Amour). That’s a lot of kibble (or a lot of “bail” money that could help rescue homeless dogs).

Papillon wearing $3.2 million diamond necklace. Photo: i Love Dogs.com Papillon wearing $3.2 million diamond necklace. Photo: i Love Dogs.com Want to indulge your dog? If you are on a tight budget, consider La Jeune Tulipe, described as the crown jewel of the canine kingdom. This collar has a total of 184 diamonds with a 1.52 carat marquise stone that blooms as the focal point. The marquise hangs where a license would usually be.

Dubbed the “Bugatti of dog collars” by Forbes magazine, the 52 carat Amour Amour is shown here on an elegant Papillon. The crocodile leather collar has over 1,600 hand-set diamonds adding sparkle to a chandelier design that features a 7 carat centerpiece straddled by two 4 carat diamonds. The stones are showcased in platinum while 18-karat white gold adds strength so the precious piece lasts a lifetime. Oh, really? Let’s hope that “Cuddles” the Cocker doesn’t don her jewels when “ruff” housing at the dog park.

Fans of the film “Titanic” might prefer Amour de la Mer. The 8.5 carat sapphire amid an ocean of over 600 diamonds with an ostrich leather band resembles the necklace made famous by the 1997 movie. For a mere $899 thousand, it will belong to your dog. Hopefully “Cuddles” will have more respect for an irreplaceable heirloom than the aged Kate Winslet character. Just to be safe, please don’t let your pooch wear Mer aboard your yacht.

To be honest, my dogs won’t be getting diamond necklaces this Valentines Day, or ever, for that matter. I’m a Capricorn and we are practical. My English Toy Spaniel is too low to the ground. She’d drag the diamonds in the dirt. Plus she already thinks she is Queen Victoria. She doesn’t need a coronation.

Meanwhile my Afghan Hounds have far too much coat on their necks to display spectacular pendants. Besides, the prongs would get stuck and create more mats. We can’t deal with any more tangles, especially in the winter when static stirs an angry sea of knots. Regular collars create enough chaos. We’d have more carats in the pin brush than on the collar. Furthermore as Edgar Afghan Poe and his sister the Beauty Queen declare: “Not only would diamonds be ‘gilding the Afghan lily’, the huge carat weight would slow us down when chasing squirrels. That would never do.”

I realized these i Love Dog collars were real, highest quality stones quite by accident. Our latest Metropolitan Dog Club (MDC) Blue Book magazine, the Westminster edition, had just been published. These booklets will be distributed free at all the upcoming dog shows and events. Even though I wrote the member profiles and proofed other articles, I had not seen the ads. “Paint the town chic with 15.6 carats of puppy love” was on a two page spread above La Jeune Tulipe. Boy, was I wrong to assume this was costume pet jewelry. I got sticker shock after checking prices online.

The build-up to Westminster (Feb. 15-16) is much like the Academy Awards. Dog festivities start taking over NYC this week. Friday night (Feb. 12) is the annual SKY BARK Pre-Westminster Fashion Show in the Penn Top Ballroom of the Hotel Pennsylvania, across the street from Madison Square Garden.

Celebrities and their dogs have fun while raising money for canine charities. Last year this Fashion Show helped Animal Haven in Queens; this year North Shore Animal League will benefit. Greg Oehler, publisher of the MDC Blue Book, and Beth Ostroksy-Stern (Mrs. Howard Stern) will escort two North Shore Animal League dogs bedecked in i Love Dog necklaces down the runway. One pup will be wearing the $150 thousand La Jeune Tulipe and the other the $3.2 million Amour Amour. Sussex Spaniel -“Stump”- last year’s Westminster Best In Show is supposed to be there too, but he won’t be modeling jewels. Still the reigning king of dogdom, Stump, already a polished gem, need not “gild the Westminster lily”.

Seriously, now: The North Shore dogs would much rather have homes than jewels. Dogs don’t care about the diamond 4 C’s: carat, color, cut and clarity. Dogs prefer their own 4 C’s: chicken, cold cuts, chewies and cookies. Lots of cookies. All four taste better inside a loving home.

For Adoption at Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: Babylon shelter dogs are not invited to any pre-Westminster revelries but I hope to have a poster of adoptables from Babylon, Oyster Bay and Hempstead Shelters at the Last Hope Animal Rescue table during the Westminster Weekend Shows (www.gsadogshows.com) from Feb. 11-14 at Nassau Coliseum. Look for us in the lobby at the bottom of the escalator.

“Shorty” in Cage 11 is a comical Basset/Pit pup about 8 months old while “Seamus” #20180 a declawed, longhaired orange & white cat has a legitimate gripe against all dogs. His owner relinquished this gorgeous 2 year old cat when he got a Bulldog and “Seamus” hissed at the dog.

Males: chubby Retriever “Teddy” Cage 6 is on a diet/ exercise plan now; “Ralphie II”-Shepherd mix pup Cage 4.

Female: brindle “Roxy” Cage 25; Pit mix “Star” Cage37 (There is hope for Pits-“Ginger” was adopted after a year at the shelter); “Tricia”-slim black Shepherd pup Cage 27.

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