I'm a big proponent of shopping local so here are a few of my favorite shops for the dog lover on your list:
Treats + Nom Noms
Former pastry chef, Stephanie Barnard, founded DC-based Piccadilly Paws to create healthy treats dogs will love. Made with organic ingredients, each flavor is thoughtfully combined for optimal nutrition. Try the Brewery bites or the Peppermint Power bites. Full disclosure, Ollie, is their current treat ambassador. :)
Planning a party for your pup? Have Woofbowl – DC's only doggie food truck –– cater it!
Pepper and Ollie love their bandanas despite their very serious expressions above. Pepper's wearing the RBG bandana from DC-based Dingus Designs Co and Ollie's sporting his fox face bandana from Maryland-based Pointer and Paw Company.
As you can tell, Dingus specializes in quirky, politically aware themes while Pointer + Paw has a wonderful selection of classic seasonal fabrics.
If you haven't picked up Vince Musi's Year for the Dog book, get to your nearest bookstore! In addition to fabulous photos, each dog's story will warm your heart. Every dog lover should have a copy on their coffee table.
Also permanently on my coffee table is the late Mary Oliver's Dog Songspoetry compilation. It's excellent.
Travel + Staycations
I'm all about giving experiences. For years, my nieces have received tokens for weekends at my house instead of tangible objects and it has been so much fun. Even now that they're in college we keep this tradition alive. So consider one of these very dog-friendly accommodations for a weekend family retreat you all can enjoy.
Tiny houses in the middle of nowhere – fully equipped and dog-friendly? Yes, please. We stayed at Getaway House last summer and had a great time. They have locations all over the US – all within a 2 hour drive of a major city.
Looking for a staycation? Go to The LINE. It's dog-friendly and super hip. The LINE also has properties in Austin + LA. They hosted my Mini-Studio Sessions this year and I could not have been happier.
Art + Photography
Oh hello — I do have gift certificates available for anyone looking to give the gift of photography this year.
But I can't draw for crap. Instead, I highly recommend DC-based, Elizabeth Graeber or Kentucky-based Holly Graham for custom illustrations featuring your favorite pooch.
^^^Holly's illustration of me with my dear Murray.
The DC area also has a wonderful variety of pet shops and artist collectives. Check out the following for a unique gifts for the pets and pet-lovers on your list.
Ollie, Pepper and I hope you have a wonderful holiday — full of meaningful moments with those you love most.