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Fashion Finds For Fido



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Fashion Finds For Fido

By Nancy K. Crevier

Dawn Adams has gone to the dogs. From visualizing, designing, and sewing clothing and costumes for people of all shapes and sizes since she was 7 years old, this Newtown seamstress has turned to designer duds for designer dogs. Specifically, Ms Adams new business, Greyhounds Puttin’ On The Glitz, is a showcase for velvet-lined collars and Czech fired-glass bead necklaces for sight hounds, such as her own two rescued greyhounds, Ginger and Guinness.

The collars are extraordinary not only for their high-quality decorative trims, but for the design. The majority of her stock is of the Martingale, or “limited choke,” style of collar designed for the small-headed sight hound breeds, which can easily slip out of a standard buckle-type collar. Sight hounds are those dogs bred for hunting that use their eyes rather than their noses to track prey, such as greyhounds, whippets, Italian greyhounds, and Salukis.

“The greyhound was once only owned by nobility,” explained Ms Adams, “and you can still see how they carry themselves regally when walked.” It seemed to her that such a noble breed was crying out for accessories to match its “impeccable breeding.”

The collars Ms Adams found when she began looking to dress up her hounds were overpriced, she felt. “Like most greyhound owners, I have a collection of collars. I saw a collar for $64 and knew I could produce the same collar more economically. I am one of seven children,” she said. “My mother raised us to believe we could do whatever we tried.” So, taking her talent with needle and thread to a new level, she began to design high-quality collars, leads, jewelry, and apparel for sight hounds at a more reasonable price. This past February, her web-based business went online at greyglitz.com.

Martingale collars are designed to prevent the dog from backing out of a collar, due to a separate second piece of collar that tightens when the dog attempts to pull out of it. The one-piece, circular collars slip over the dogs’ heads with no fasteners. When properly adjusted, said Ms Adams, a Martingale design collar will not constrict beyond a dog’s throat size or choke a dog through unhealthy pressure against the windpipe.

The one-inch, inch-and-a-half, and two-inch-wide collars from Greyhounds Puttin’ On The Glitz currently consist of more than 50 designs, including polka dots, geometric designs, florals, leopard, and some that are reminiscent of medieval tapestries. Nonetheless, the fashionable neck pieces are designed for everyday use, said Ms Adams, and are suitable for many different breeds. To properly fit a Glitz collar, her website offers measuring instructions for sight hounds and other breeds.

Every collar consists of a layer of sturdy polypropylene webbing sandwiched between a layer of Swiss velvet and the tightly woven jacquard material Ms Adams favors for its looks and durability. A special German thread known for its strength is used to sew the collars and leads. Only heavy-duty, welded hardware is used on the Glitz collars, which are priced between $22 and $30.

Bling For Bowser

For fancier outings such as greyhound meet and greets, or trips to visit residents at Ashlar, as do Ginger and Guinness, Ms Adams designs a line of jewelry for dogs. Using Czech fired-glass beads and semiprecious stones, Ms Adams assures that even the most fashion-conscious dog will shine in her doggie necklaces that coordinate with Glitz collars. The fancy neckwear is strung on stainless steel thread with a test strength of 20 pounds. From delicate single strands to the more complex multistrand rainbow collar necklace, there is a look to complement the beauty of any canine.

A complete line of velvet and jacquard leads, all of the same top quality as that of the collar, is available to complete the look.

A self-professed “Greyhound nut,” Ms Adams puts dog safety first. Even though each of her handmade collars is carefully inspected, she advises owners to check collars often for snugness, rips, tears, or loose hardware. She also cautions that dog tags should never be attached to the “D” ring of a Martingale collar. “If a dog catches the tags on something, the collar tightens and could hurt the dog,” she warned. “Always put the tags on the side slide.”

She also notes that the dog necklaces should only be worn under supervision for special occasions. They are not intended to replace a collar.

The endless yards of material, the glue, scissors, tape, pins, and thread that cover her family room table top are not just for the manufacture of the Glitz collars, though. Greyhounds Puttin’ On The Glitz also features a line of fleece pajamas and coats, waterproof, lined winter coats, and raincoats of a special waterproof, breathable material with mesh lining — and matching rain hat — for sight hounds. “Snoods,” which cover a dogs neck and ears, are available, as well. Each Glitz snood features an opening at the top to accommodate a leash.

“Greyhounds have no fat layer and only a single layer coat,” explained Ms Adams, “so they have a hard time maintaining body temperature.”

She has sold hundreds of collars, necklaces, and other apparel since the beginning of 2006, but her attitude toward the eight-hour days she spends producing the Glitz line is one of excitement. It is a labor of love that pushes her to create the best product she possibly can. She has some new merchandise up her sleeve for the upcoming year, she said, and hopes to have them listed on her website soon.

As a greyhound owner and greyhound foster home provider, Ms Adams’ business, Greyhounds Puttin’ On The Glitz, regularly donates products to benefit the Greyhound Rescue and Rehabilitation organization. In May, $5 from each collar sale went to a medical fund for Greyhound Rescue and Rehabilitation.

Collars and apparel by Greyhounds Puttin’ On The Glitz are available online, and traditional buckle collars by Glitz, using the same quality craftsmanship applied to the Martingale design, will be sold at Newbury, 41 Oak Tree Road, a new Southbury store scheduled to open in October. Ms Adams can be contacted via her website for special orders.

Thanks to Ms Adams, puttin’ on the glitz is within paw’s reach for every fashion hound now.

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