My babies have new collars!


When we got Mekko just a little over a year ago now, we immediately went to the pet store to pick up all the crap we’d need right away. We weren’t planning to get a dog, so we just ran through the store like crazy people, picking up a crate and treats and food and a leash and collar. It was madness! We had no money! When it came to collar selection, we didn’t put too much thought in and just threw a basic cheap red nylon collar in the basket and called it a day.

I always kind-of-sort-of kept my eyes out for a better collar in the intervening year since, but I never found anything that really fit the bill. We’re not really the types of dog owners who try to get fancy with our dog paraphernalia——I basically just want it to be functional and cheap and OK-looking. If I had a bunch of disposable income, I’d probably change my tune and our dogs would have all the fancy shit that their simple little minds handle. Linus would have a selection of polite lambswool cable-knit sweaters, Mekko would have her nails gold-leafed, and they’d only eat the finest cuts of steak and I’d hire someone to manage Linus’s eye-crusties. But for now we just focus on making sure they can eat and go to the vet and all that.


Well, it FINALLY occurred to me to check Etsy! DUHZVILLE. I always kind of forget that Etsy is, like, a real thing with real stuff that I probably want in real life (this is definitely for the best), but then I remember and there’s always SOMEBODY selling pretty much exactly what I want. I know I’m not, like, blazing any trails here, but Etsy is a pretty great resource in my experience.


ANYWAY. I found these wonderful, super simple natural leather collars from Lakeside Leather (all the way from Ireland!). I love how they’re totally unadorned, and I LOVE the tone of the natural leather. If I’m not mistaken, they’ll age and wear over time and develop a really great patina with use, which I’m also excited about. I know zero about leather-craft, but they also seem really well-made and I think will last the dogs a long, long time.

They were also cheap! So very cheap! Mekko (large size) and Linus (small size) were only $20 together, plus shipping.


Looking pretty good, you two.

 (I wasn’t paid or perked to talk about these collars, I just like them.)

PS- The Homies over at Apartment Therapy are in full swing! I placed last in the nomination round, but now slates have been wiped clean and I’m in 4th place but it could be 1st place if you scoot your cutie booty over the contest and give me your vote for Best Home Design & Inspiration Blog. If you voted in the nominations round, you have to vote AGAIN for it to count in the finals. Voting only lasts a couple days this year, so get to it!

If you do, I promise to never say “scoot your cutie booty” again.

If you don’t, all bets are off.

About Daniel Kanter

Hi, I'm Daniel, and I love houses! I'm a serial renovator, DIY-er, and dog-cuddler based in Kingston, New York. Follow along as I bring my 1865 Greek Revival back to life and tackle my 30s to varying degrees of success. Welcome!

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  1. 2.11.13
    Care said:

    My cutie booty has voted!

  2. 2.11.13
    Mom said:

    Ok, just keeping it real here but all of you cutie bootys or booties need to not JUST vote. You need to pass it on and beg your friends to vote too! Get on it. Puuuuhleeze.

  3. 2.11.13
    Kristin said:


  4. 2.11.13
    frances said:

    voted…………..kisses for your babies!

  5. 2.11.13
    Kim said:

    Ahh I love them! Will definitely have to check them out since I just got a pit puppy and am having fun spoiling her!

    And because EVERYONE loves puppy pictures, here are some to brighten your day:

    (Obviously I’m already a crazy dog lady. Oy.)

    • 2.11.13
      Daniel said:

      OH MY GOD.

      GIMME IT.

    • 2.12.13
      Nancy said:


    • 2.12.13
      AnnW said:

      I can’t stand it! Cutest puppy ever. We know that Linus is Not a Puppy. It’s good I don’t know where you live, I might try to get him to run away with me.

    • 2.12.13
      Monica said:

      Holy cuteness!!!!

    • 2.23.13
      Carrie said:

      Omg. She reminds me of my Django when he was a baby.
      Welcome to the crazy dog lady club. It’s pretty much the best club ever

  6. 2.11.13
    JoyinATL said:

    Love the simple, hand-crafted collars. And of course I voted for you…your Mom said to! I will use my limited sphere of influence to help make YOU a winner!

  7. 2.11.13
    amber said:

    i tried to vote but it stead voting has ended. maybe its because i’m from NZ? i hope you win :)

  8. 2.11.13
    amber said:

    *said not stead

  9. 2.11.13
    Andrea said:

    We love The Mod Dog on Etsy. She makes some pretty awesome and well made collars. If you ever are on the market for collars again. :)

  10. 2.11.13
    Eva said:

    This cutie booty scooted!

  11. 2.11.13
    Rachel said:

    Voted! I really like the collars, the normal pet ones are so crazy sometimes.

  12. 2.11.13

    I am so sad that those are not my collars ;_; But I guess my big dog collars still aren’t up and they’re not leather? And you are just SUPER BORING? (No, wait, that’s wrong)

    Also you can kind of gold-leaf Mekko’s nails. I think there’s a gold nail pawlish somewhere… That’s a thing. Pawlish. For paws. It’s funny.

  13. 2.11.13
    Victoria said:

    uh, what the funk? you were totally in first place when I voted the other day. Do I need to go all Tonya Harding on these other blogs? Although, I’m not sure what I can even hit with a metal baton, other than my own macbook and that damn sure ain’t happening. So I guess you’re just gonna have to win legit style.

  14. 2.11.13
    Robin said:

    Mah bootie and I have voted.

    Also, saddle soap (usually found in the shoe polish aisle of your local grocery or drugstore) is an inexpensive way to maintain those beautiful collars. It gives them a nice patina and keeps them from drying out.

    • 2.11.13
      Daniel said:

      Thank you, that’s great to know!! I was actually wondering about maintenance, but I figured I’d just cross that bridge when I got to it. Thanks!

  15. 2.11.13
    nicolezh said:

    Linus is A-DOR-ABLE! Mekko, of course,too. I allready voted for you and had my partner to do the same, of course. You deserve the Homies!

  16. 2.11.13
    Sebastian said:

    very cool collars, I am her in the Uk , i might get some for a friend of mine, she has a dog that could do with a new collar :-)

  17. 2.11.13
    Angie said:

    For the eye crusties, Eye Envy is a great product. They sell it for dogs and cats. You can get it on Amazon or on their own site.

  18. 2.11.13
    Adrienne said:

    Hi Daniel, I voted…I think you guys are in third place now.
    BTW, I have a little dog just like Linus named Benji. He is a brat, and runs the house and humps the cat…however he looks so cute that everyone still loves him. He gets those eye buggers too and yeah, it’s a pain in the ass to keep after it. I’ve been using wipes called “All Natural Herbal Puppy Wet Wipes” in between his weekly baths, which I have to do because of the fleas here in FL. Good luck with your two gorgeous babies!

  19. 2.11.13
    Stephanie said:

    Love the new collars and the cutie dogs too! I can’t get over how much
    better Linus looks.

  20. 2.11.13
    Shannon said:

    What we THINK dogs should want and what they really want are two different things. I used to get my first dog groomed with expensive hot oil treatments. She’d immediately go in the yard and roll in a pile of deer shit.

  21. 2.11.13
    Anna said:

    Hope you have insurance for those pups. I can say from long experience with the world’s most expensive pound-rescued-surgery-prone-mutt, you want it. Use it once and it will be worth it. Vet visits are waaaay more pricey than collars. Off to Lakeside. Sylvie is going to look so good in that collar…


  22. 2.12.13
    Monica said:

    Love the collars! I have been searching Etsy off and on since we got Cooper and never came by this shop. Thanks.
    With every picture I see of Linus I can’t believe it is the same dog you found. Such cuteness.

  23. 2.12.13
    Sarah said:

    DANIEL. You have got to stop putting these hysterical “omg omg omg they didn’t pay me to write this” disclaimers at the end of posts. it’s okay! People read the blog because we like your writing and your sense of style. We trust that you would only write about products that you like, and if you were paid for or gifted an item that you genuinely like, it’s a win/win situation. Blogging is hard work. It’s okay to get paid.

    • 2.12.13
      Daniel said:

      Thanks, Sarah——I’ll think about it! People get super suspicious about bloggers being authentic about what they like, and I don’t want to leave any lingering suspicions! I wouldn’t write about a product unless I really did like it, anyway, but I do think it’s important to disclose if I’m being paid (or given something for free) in exchange for a post.

      That said, I agree that it’s annoying!!

  24. 2.12.13
    Katie said:

    Ooh, thanks for the recommendation! I’ll have to tell my dad for his dog so he won’t ever spend a bajillion dollars at Orvis again.

  25. 2.12.13
    Susanne said:

    I registered just so I could vote for you!
    And I am ordering a collar just so my Libby can be like your Mekko:)
    And now I feel like I am going all “Single White Female” you…

  26. 2.12.13
    Gregg said:

    Is it just me or does Linus look like he would play Albert Einstein in an all dog production of Einsteins life?

    • 2.13.13
      Daniel said:

      OMG, so correct.

  27. 2.12.13
    Jen said:

    You are now in 3rd. You’re welcome! :o)

  28. 2.14.13
    Colleen said:

    That picture of Linus…I can’t…I just….oh my! Squeeee!

  29. 2.15.13
    Wehaf said:

    I love those new collars! When we upgrade our dogs’ cheap nylon ones, we plan on donating the old ones to a local shelter – did you guys do that?

    • 2.18.13
      Daniel said:

      No, we kept the dogs’ original collars as back-ups, just in case (they’re crappy, anyway). We support the shelter where we got Mekko in other ways. :)

  30. 2.24.13
    Joy J said:

    The collar I ordered for my shepherd mix just arrived! It’s great; thanks for the store suggestion. ALSO, the way Linus’ ears are in the second picture makes him look like Anna Wintour. No? Does anyone see it? Put some shades on that bad boy and BAM!-instant doppleganger.