Dogs off leashes and into purses

Brianne Carlon

Credit: Andrew popik

Paris Hilton has one. So does Jessica Simpson. Even that girl sitting next you in class has one. They are the hottest, and possibly one of the most expensive, new accessories on the market.

We are not talking about handbags or jewelry here. Not even shoes. We are talking dogs. Yep, miniature dogs — and their owners are toting them everywhere.

Tanya McAnally, senior finance major, purchased a mini Pincher about a year ago. The total price for the dog was about $600.

“I got Martini before the whole Paris Hilton-Tinkerbell thing,” she said. “But then everyone started getting miniature dogs, and I was teased a little for that.”

Richele Semko, manager of Petland in Boardman, said, “I can’t tell you how many phone calls I get asking for Maltipoos like Jessica Simpson’s.”

Small dogs definitely outsell big dogs, Semko said.

“We could have a Yorkie here for $1,900, and it would be gone in a week,” she said.

McAnally’s mother bought her a hot pink leather dog bag for carrying.

These bags range between $25 to $45, Semko said. However, to get a Louis Vuitton dog bag like Simpson’s, it would cost thousands.

McAnally said when she first got Martini, she took her everywhere.

“I took her to all the parties I went to, football games and even my field hockey practices.”

McAnally’s boyfriend also purchased a mini Pincher four months ago.

“He bought a double-lead collar, and we take the two of them everywhere,” she said.

Some people are even taking their pets to class.

“I think that is taking it too far,” McAnally said.

Anthony Cucculelli, junior fashion design major, agreed.

“It is animal cruelty to shove a dog in a small space for that amount of time,” he said.

However, McAnally said her dogs love people and are well-behaved.

“They love when new people come up to them,” she said. “They don’t bark a lot either because I taught them from a young age not to be barkers.”

According to Kent State operational procedure and regulations, “No animals, with the exception of guide dogs for the blind, are permitted in the Student Center.”

The rule states the admittance of animals must be restricted because of the possible health, sanitation, safety and noise problems related to allowing animals in the Student Center. However, it does not mention regulations for any other building.

McAnally said she encouraged at least four other people to get little dogs, including her parents.

She said those who wanted dogs before usually thought of getting a big dog.

“Now everyone is starting to realize the benefits of small dogs and how much fun they can be,” she said.

Contact student life reporter Branne Carlon at [email protected].