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Accessorize Your Pooch for Safety

Keep your dog safe, year-round, with a collar cover emblazoned with your phone number. Strangers can read it from a distance -- no need for them to worry about approaching a strange dog and reaching for a dog tag.

The founder of Comal County Lost and Found Dogs Facebook page has a few fashion ideas for making sure your pooch stays safe and warm this holiday season.

Leanne “Doglady” will be on hand from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1 at Fischer Store Market, 4040 FM 484 in Fischer, selling her perennially popular custom-made dog-collar covers, coats, dresses, harnesses and leashes.

She’s a private person who goes by the nickname bestowed upon her by a faithful four-year-old who liked to watch her dogwashing truck pass his house on FM 306 daily.

However, “Mr. C”, aka Cary Caldwell of Mr. C’s Eclectibles, is widely credited with making the name stick, and Doglady went on to serve as interim director of Canyon Lake Animal Society when it shuttered then reopened in 2013 under new management.

Today, she’s well-known in Canyon Lake for her strong advocacy for the many homeless, stray and lost dogs endemic to the area — especially on the south side of Canyon Lake.

Doglady’s clothes-making hobby is a natural extension of her passion for reuniting lost dogs with their panic-stricken owners.

“It’s not a business per se,” she said. “When there’s a fun, close-by market I’ll go peddle some clothes because it’s fun. It’s the camaraderie with other people.”

Her durable, denim collar covers only cost $10. Like everything else available at Fischer Store Market this weekend, they’re designed with dogs’ safety and convenience in mind.

When people find loose dogs, they’re often reluctant to just walk on over and look for a tag. Doglady said her eye-catching, covers make it easy and much safer for concerned citizens to spot a phone number and call an owner.

“There’s a method to my madness.”

The clothes she stitches are free of buttons bling and beads — “nothing that a dog can swallow and choke on.

“My coats, for example. It’s a one-step process. You don’t have to pull paws and arms through. There’s no velcro on the belly. You just slip it over the head and you tie a belt around them and that’s it. The belt is completely removable because litle boys have a tendency to pee.”

Harnesses — except for tiny ones made for small dogs and even cats — are velcro-free. She uses d-rings to make sure dogs can’t slip free.

The native Australian, said she began stitching clothes for the German Shepherds she grew up with.

“I’ve always, always dressed animals in clothes.”




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