After head-to-paw makeovers, these NYC shelter pooches are no longer ruff around the edges
Like any model, Mallory, Heart and Myrtle adapt easily to the mood of a typical NYC fashion shoot: Mallory tries to snag a pink tulle number off the stylist’s table, Heart won’t come on set until all the other models leave the room, and even timid Myrtle gets distracted when the pace slows.
But in truth, these are no ordinary models: They’re shelter dogs, who with the help of doggie stylist Dara Foster, get the ultimate makeover.
Foster, a passionate advocate for shelter animals, hopes that these makeovers will help the ordinarly unkempt pups get adopted quickly. “My job mixes fashion with creativity,” says the pet style expert and author of “Now You See It! Pup Style” (Scholastic). “But mostly I love that I get to help rescue dogs.”
First, Mallory, a 1-year-old shih-tzu/poodle mix, was spritzed, trimmed, blow-dryed and air-brushed with an easy-to-wash-off, vegetable-dye “tramp-stamp." Doggie stylist Dara Foster then dressed her in a bright coat to keep her dry during spring showers.
To do that, Foster brought a suitcase and two totes — full of doggie wigs, tutus, mini-hats and collars donated by Poetic Paws — to Animal Haven shelter so she and her team could transform three scruffy, homeless dogs into princesses for a day. Her super-connected band of stylists includes go-to celebrity dog groomer Jorge Bendersky who keeps Ralph Lauren’s pups looking polished.
“When you dress your dog, you really want to think about the environment: where you’re going, what season we’re in and the temperature,” says Foster.
As the dogs get primped, the stylists’ squeals of delight over each over-the-top outfit and tiny accessory appear to encourage Myrtle and Mallory to prance a little prouder.
Asked what to do with a dog that doesn’t like dressing up, Foster remains optimistic: “If a dog freezes like a statue, give her a few treats and see what happens. If she still freezes, take the outfit off — it might not fit right. Then find another accessory and try again.”
Visit animalhavenshelter.org for info on adopting Mallory, Heart, Myrtle and other dogs.