Let sleeping dogs lie
A new generation of beds and accessories offers the ultimate in canine chic
Giles Kime finds new levels of canine indulgence
WHAT do The Fuzzy Duck, The Kingham Plough and The Wild Rabbit Inn have in common? They’re all restaurants and pubs in the Cotswolds that allow you to dine with your dog. This is the sort of invaluable information that delights the canine-loving visitors to www.petspyjamas.com and probably drives the dog-less mad. As will the personalised puppy towels and the choice of more than 100 doggy bandanas.
Canine indulgence is nothing new (in the 1920s, the Nawab of Junagadh is rumoured to have laid on lavish nuptials for his two favourite hounds), but, increasingly, it’s having an impact on the way we live—not just in the obvious ways, such as fully plumbed-in baths for dogs, but also in those features that are arriving by stealth. One of these is the return of the throw, although these have nothing to do with rendering a room more cosy and everything to do with offering a surreptitious way to protect upholstery from moulting fur, mud and nail damage.
Another is the evolution of the dog basket—a decade ago, it was just that, a wicker basket that jostled for position between the central-heating boiler and assorted pairs of muddy boots. However, now that many dogs have a licence to roam—and sleep— pretty much where they please, the pressure is on to create dog beds and bedding that look at home in the company of furniture designed for humans.
One of the best sources of dog furniture sympathetic to smart interiors was set up by sisters Christine and Jenny Chau (0161–848 8702; www. charleychau.com), owners of four exquisite Italian greyhounds that feature in the company’s imagery. The emphasis is more on aesthetics than the pampering of pooches and the range includes everything from a discreet day bed (choose from a combination of tangerine and claret or teal and fuchsia) to a more stately rattan design that’s presumably for those impoverished canine souls that don’t share their owners’ beds.
The design that scores highest for indulgence is the Snuggle bed, which ingeniously combines a fleece-covered cushion with a built-in duvet. Another retailer that upholds the right of dogs to snooze in style is OKA (01235 433930; www.oka.com), but the company doesn’t just stop at dog beds and fake-fur throws: its Crackle Dash pet bowl is as chic as the rest of its range. The days of the outdoor kennel seem a dim and distant memory.
Above and below right: Dog beds from Charley Chau.
Crackle Dash dog bowl, from £29, OKA