We’d just come in from our morning swim when we overheard Bruce talking to Billie Holiday—our sister, not the singer—about a new project with Shinola, a Detroit company that makes watches and leather goods for humans. “You’re going to Detroit?” whined River, the needy one. Most of us understand that Bruce has to go out and bring home the bacon. Still, although we do love bacon—like, really love it—we far prefer it when he is home.
Turns out, it wasn’t just any old project, but a campaign for, get this, accessories for pets! Like us—we’re pets.
Bruce frequently turns to us for career advice, and so we told him this Shinola gig was a great opportunity—and bigger than he realized. He could be more than just the photographer, and we could be more than just the pretty faces. “We know what dogs want to wear and swim in better than some bipeds in Detroit. There’s not even an ocean there,” we told Bruce. “Yes,” he answered. “It is time for dinner, you’re right.”
But he got the message—he always does—and it wasn’t long before we were working hard as official designers, in between our mandatory six-hour naps. Tao was the chief bed tester/hog. Hud, the group’s best-dressed, was on collars, made of leather so soft you barely know you’ve worn yours in the ocean (oops). We put Dream in charge of the leashes and bridles, because he is the most hot-tempered. Kodiak oversaw the whole operation, when we saw him at all. He fancies himself a lone polar bear.
After the products were perfected came the easy part: the photos. Unlike some models we know, we’ll get out of bed for nothing more than an ear rub. Bruce wanted the line to feel inclusive, and so he cast a few extras like Finn, an old hound, and a little white fuss bucket whose name we never did catch. We always get nervous about the extras because you never know if one will just up and stay. The good news, though, is that whitey left with Bruce’s acupuncturist, and Bruce stayed home with us.