“You don’t have to be a muddy boots person to own a dog,” explained Anna Namiki over tea at the Primrose Bakery. “You just have to find the breed that suits your lifestyle.”
Fashionista Anna had always loved dogs but knew that a big boisterous hound was not for her. However, a tea-date with a fashion-designer friend at Laduree in Paris inspired her to seek out the dog that would suit her lifestyle. Her friend’s dog – which incidentally had been a gift from an admirer, sent all the way from St Tropez in a taxi – sat happily on her own chair in the famous macaroon salon and seemed to enjoy herself as much as the humans did.
Anna and Chanel are clearly a match made in heaven. The blond long-coat chihuahua and her human other half thrive in one another’s company and their mutual appreciation is obvious. Together they have take the summer dog show circuit by storm and their home must be knee-deep by now in ‘prettiest bitch’ or ‘most talented dog’ rosettes.
The dog show success has evolved from the Pupaid Fun Dog Show, an annual event here in Primrose Hill. Having been terrorised as a young pup by an aggressive pug, Chanel was a rather shy and retiring little dog, but as soon as she spotted the show-ring, Anna explained that she changed completely:
“She just stepped up to it and owned that ring!”
Having discovered that Chanel was a natural born competitor, Anna moved on from the usual obedience classes – in their case a the Tip Top Dog School in St John’s Wood – to Heelwork to Music, a competitive activity for dogs to show their obedience and skills. Anna and Chanel have excelled in the freestyle section, which Anna explains is a form of dance, “but it’s about the dog, not the person.”
With her incredibly cute outfits from chichi brands such as Louisdog and Fifi and Romeo of Beverly Hills, Chanel cuts quite a dash. She even has her own tailor to adjust her outfits for a perfect fit. “It’s not fair for a beautiful dog to have ill-fitting clothes that don’t look right,” Anna points out.
Chanel is also an experienced model, having modelled Mulberry Dog and Marc Jacobs in magazines and walked the runway (I simply cannot call it a ‘catwalk’ in these circumstances) at the the Spitalfields fashion Show and for the Ladies with Leads brand, amongst others. Anna hopes that TV and film work will follow.
Chanel is clearly an intelligent little animal who laps up the attention her performances bring her. And Anna is devoted to her. They make a unique pair and it’s a total joy to watch them flourish.
And I can’t resist a final quote from Anna: “Before I had Chanel I had no idea the shopping would be so good!”
You can follow their adventures:
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