Dog Lovers Get Skin Art in Tribute to Beloved Pets

 |  May 6th 2011  |   10 Contributions


There are so many creative ways to pay tribute to a beloved dog: You could commission a painted portrait, a bronze sculpture, a photograph or silhouette.

Some dog lovers pen poems, asMark Dotydid (healso wrotethe beautifulmemoir Dog Years), orauthor abest-selling book (i.e. John Grogan's Marley and Me).

During his Led Zeppelin days, Robert Plant paid tribute to his dog Strider by composing the rousing anthem "Bron YrAur Stomp." In my humble opinion,that song is one of the most romantic ever.

Fashion designer John Bartlett branded his clothing collection with the likeness of his adopted dog Tiny Tim. Every single item in John's Manhattan retail store sportshis handsome dog-head logo, on the label and/or the garment itself. Tim's image alsoappears on the front door! And starting in August, you'll see Tim's image on John's new menswear collection for the Bon-Ton Stores. That dog was a real fashion hound!

In Georgia, Carol Perkins Rawle built a successfuldog-accessories business inspired by her K9; both business and doggo by the nameHarry Barker.

In Florida, inspired by his two dogs,entrepreneur Tamer Elsafy created a spinoff of his successful Flexcin supplement for joint health. It's calledFlexpet, and it's helped many arthritic dogs enjoy easier mobility, my Sheba included.

In Michigan, Crypton Super Fabrics founder Randy Rubin started making dog beds, motivated by a desire to provide her dog Molly B. Rubinwith the coziest possible sleeping arrangement.Now, several years later,Crypton dog beds come in a wide variety of shapes and patterns - including the Molly B. Collection! - toensure thatMolly andher dog friends alwaysenjoy sweet dreams.

Thanks to the efforts of the humans they left behind, these dogs are immortal beloveds with a lasting legacy of love.What's more, the products created in theirhonor help make their fellow dogs' lives more fun.

It can be tough to come up with a tribute that's as unique as the dog who inspires it. But two dog lovers I know managed to do just that.

Their m.o.? Skin art.

After the death of Mercy, her beloved Border Collie mix, author Melissa Holbrook Pierson got Mercy's name tattooed on her wrist. In her brilliant, moving 2005 essay "The Quality of Mercy," Melissa explains why she did this: So that her best friend's name, inked on her skin, "would last as long as [she] did."

More recently, a few months ago, my neighbor Debbie Baer also got a tattoo in honor of her dog Chelsea: a Shepherd-Lab-Husky mix she adopted from Bide-a-Wee's Manhattan shelter. Now 13, Chelsea (right)is in excellent spirits despite having lost her hearing. To celebrate the bond they share,Debbie consulted an Israeli friend who is a tattoo artist. Chelsea's name was inked in Hebrew lettersonDebbie's wrist, along with a heart-shaped paw-print (see photo above). So she too now wears her heart under her sleeve.

I think the result is a lovely tribute, as unique as the one-of-a-kind dog who inspired it. Don't you?

What's the sweetest or most unusual tribute you've ever heard a personpay in their dog's honor? Pleasetell usin the comments!

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