Cashmere, Suede and Tweed


Candis Noble-Harris began her love for whippets looking "Through the Eyes of a Cat Person".

Sitting in my classmate’s apartment in Montreal, taking time off from the hectic pace of design school,... suddenly I was startled by two deer-like creatures who jumped up on either side of me from out of nowhere! They did this only to drape their long, soft, elegant necks over my arms and shoulders. I was taken aback as I hadn't realized my friend even had a pet, ...let alone two dogs.

*(Sidebar: I didn’t "like" dogs…as in, not at all; I mean… after all, they made your hands stink when you pet them, they made the house smell, the constant hair, the "dogginess"...and well,frankly... they just weren't CATS!).

Back to the story: I couldn’t believe my experience ... these "dogs"...well, they weren’t dogs at all…at least not they way I felt I knew dogs! In my amazement I sat dazedly enjoying their soft quiet attention (unsolicited I hasten to add)...more or less going over and over in my mind all the reasons I knew I disliked dogs; ...frankly unable to understand the world’s fascination with them! As the afternoon wore on I said to my friend (at the time believing these to be the most profound words ever spoken by man or woman), "You know, if EVER I were to have a dog...THIS would be the type of dog I would have, ...they are just like CATS!".

I never realized how prophetic, those words would become!

Eight Years, One Husband, One Son, and One Siamese Cat later, I found myself remembering that moment with my friend and those two beautiful Whippets. "Michael", I said "You know, they really are just like Cats, ..."more like Art actually" (did I mention I was in Interior Design school?) ..."The way they move…the way they drape themselves when they lie on the sofa, and.......well, you know Michael, there’s just something about a boy and a dog..." A BOY AND A DOG !!! (who was I kidding? Did I just say that?) I almost couldn’t believe the words that were coming out of my mouth. It was at that moment that my search began... and my life would change


Whippet in Repose

I researched, read, and searched the internet for breeders. I finally found the answer in my own backyard. I was at our local pet supply store, where the owner had a Whippet who always went to work with her. She mentioned to me that there was a client who came in from time to time who had a Whippet and would I like her phone number...needless to say I jumped at the opportunity to phone this person and talk with her, about her Whippet. This lady was Suzanne Brunelle. She and I had a lovely time meeting, and talking about Whippets. She shared with me the name Terry Taft. He would be the one to help me in my quest for a Whippet.

To make a long story short, he had helped a new breeder, Linda Ratcliffe with her first Whippet litter. I was honoured to be able to choose my precious Suede from the litter. Tarnhows Party Time was his name…and to me he was the most beautiful Whippet I had ever seen in my life! So sweet, so precious and all puppy! Both of us in tears, I left, Whippet in car (crate to be exact, and what exactly was this new crate-thing I had to learn about?)…as I waved goodbye to Linda, tears rolling down my cheeks, driving down the street literally shaking…mostly from the excitement surrounding my new gorgeous Whippet, but equally so with anxiety over my new responsibility; knowing nothing about dogs, dog etiquette, crates, house-breaking; I began to get anxious..."What have I done?...I’m a cat person!...There is a dog in MY CAR!"


Suede

Well, it was easier than I’d imagined. I’d read numerous books and research over the internet and of course asked my breeder numerous questions; probably silly ones now that I look back. But, it was all new terrain and I was up for the challenge,... but, was Cashmere?

Suede and my Siamese cat, Cashmere, had a rocky start for the first week. Once the cat proclaimed his dominance; however, they became great friends and were inseparable.


Cashmere, Making His Point

I found that having a dog was so different than I had imagined. I fell in love with him in a completely different way from my love for my cat. And, no...my house didn’t smell, the dog didn’t stink, there wasn’t hair all over the place, and to my astonishment...I discovered…why the world loves dogs! Dogs respond to and understand us in ways cats just seem not to be able...(unfortunately without the purrrrr). What a revelation that was!

Suzanne and I kept in contact and what started out as a chance meeting turned into a close friendship. Suzanne started acquiring Whippets…I couldn’t believe it...she was hooked! Not that I wasn’t, but I mean...more than one? Pu-leeeeeeez! Well Suzanne and Terry started working together and Windward Whippets was born…along with her first litter! Now, I was smart here…savvy, actually…I couldn’t be lured into another Whippet, I mean after all, Suede and Cashmere have a good thing, and two dogs are a "pack" anyway, and I have a cat and after all he was first…and besides that,... all her puppies were spoken for!

I helped her on occasion feed the puppies and play with them when she was at work. And I was able to remain unattached...well, after all, ...they were all spoken for...this wasn’t a problem, this was easy, just play with them and go home...yeah I can do that.

...NOT!

Did I mention they were all spoken for? Uh, well not exactly. Actually, there were two from which I could choose, SHOULD I decide of course that I wanted one. This was insane...me?....two whippets?

(big sigh)………………………………..…yes.

It was at that moment Tweed joined our household…Windward Baccarat Whirlwind. You will soon see how appropriate his name is. But wait a minute, I should back up a bit. Did I mention to you that Suede is perfect? He does everything right. He’s quiet, naturally obedient, isn’t destructive, and is quietly affectionate. He is beautiful and, as his eye makeup gives him an illusion of sadness, which of course allows him many more cookies than might ordinarily be the case! There’s not a lot to say about a perfect foot warmer in bed, a non-begger at the dinner table, and a dog whose only goal in life is to please…simply put, he is my wonderful good boy, Suede!


The Boys

Now Tweed, where to begin about Tweed. Tweed is a whippet of a different sort. What makes Tweed awful, is what makes Tweed wonderful! He is personality plus and of course it’s the plus which drives us all crazy! He is, right there in your face, you’re gonna notice me, here I am, Tweed! You can’t help but fall in love with him, because he won’t let you not! He’s silly, disobedient in all sorts of fun ways, very very clever and a connoisseur of all things new and unusual.

Tweed has a vast collection of quelques choses which he believes to be beaux arts! He adds to it daily usually by way of the garbage bag! Each week I find his collection grows as I clean out his crate. Now, I must admit, not all of these things I’m proud of, as danger lurks when garbage bags abound; however, this is what I may typically find on any given day in Tweed’s crate: Lego blocks, Tupperware tops, Socks (usually Michael’s), Toy motorcycles, used to be fuzzy-now sloppy Slippers, Steak bones, well-licked-clean Butter-wrappers, Hotwheels cars which used to have wheels, Beenie Babies which used to have value, Gloves, Hats, Cat toys, my new Hush Puppies Boots, my Cordless telephone electronic control which used to dial, Pencil crumbs that used to write, used Kleenex’, oh yes, and a 4” X 6” framed picture (completely unscathed) stolen off my stepson’s desk…I guess he missed him

…sigh, shall I go on?.


I'm Not Bad, I'm....Special

But, as I say Tweed may keep us jumping but always makes us laugh. He’s clever and sly and always ready to give kisses; following me from room to room, always ready for play at any time, waiting for bed until I choose to go…he has sparkle and is attitude personified … that’s what makes him my wonderful bad boy, Tweed!


So here I am with my fabulous threesome, Cashmere, Suede and Tweed! And, as I sit here thinking about it, my cat is really the dog here…he fetches and talks to you and does all sorts of tricks the way many Siamese do…and my dogs are,… well, they are a lot like cats! The trio sleep in a big heap on my sofa all entwined; and while Cashmere and Suede’s relationship is strongest, Cashmere allows that Tweed is here to stay and will cuddle with him as well. Of course, his once in a while, too-inquisitive nose gets bopped every now and then, he knows his place…the cat puts him there!

So, you’d think my saga ends here...but no. I began walking nightly with my good friend, Nancy. Suede and Tweed enjoy this greatly, yet I realized that up here in Montreal our winters can be so brutal, and I couldn’t imagine finding a coat warm enough for our 40 minute walks! After being unsuccessful in finding what I wanted for them, I decided to design my own dog coats. Being an Interior Designer I always seemed to want what I wasn’t able to find in dogwear...Luxury...Gorgeous Fabrics, Trimmings...things we see in furnishings but not in dogwear!

Tweed Adorned in his Tapestry Manteau and Faux-Fur Ensemble

My first design took a dreadfully long time but remains one of my favourite. What I wanted was a way to incorporate warm leggings with a coat which didn’t look silly or pull on the dog when he moved...and of course for me…looks were EVERYTHING! I created luxurious Palazzo Faux-Fur Leggings which were independent of the coat yet moved with the dog; the bonus being that they allowed their use with a variety of top coats (or manteaux as I call them) creating numerous looks with a few basic pieces…a Scarf here, a Hood there, a chic Roll-Down Collar, glamourous Faux-Fur Leggings, or maybe even a matching Martingale!

Posh Pawz Martingales

I was so proud of my designs I showed them to my friends who all decided they too wanted me to make coats for their dogs! The orders came …and the orders continued,… to which I created Posh Pawz.

There is a very distinct look and a distinct feel to my Dog Attire; everything from cutting edge and trendy, to quietly classic. My designs are timeless and follow the lines of the breed for whom they are designed. The quality is top notch and the look, stunning. Posh Pawz fills a small niche in dog attire…distinctive looks for distinctive dogs. It has been a frenzied 3 months! Luxurious Materials, Flexible yet Functional Design, allowing Incredible Warmth…it’s what makes this all work. As Posh Pawz grows, I hope to offer more original designs…as for now, I am pleased to have created a "look" which is unique and most...

What fun; so much, and so fast, but the thrill I receive is immeasureable.! Hmmmmm, ...I knew design school would come in handy! Eight years ago, who knew I’d be making dog coats …me, Candis Noble-Harris,...a CAT person!

…Who knew?

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