Easy, Breezy, Beautiful Linus!


Linus is the sort of dog I generally associate with the elderly: sleepy, cuddly, a little vacant, with a hairstyle that must be maintained. I’ve only ever owned big dogs and figured I always would, yet here we are. People are always confused when they find out that Mekko the Pit Bull is the dog that we willingly, intentionally adopted, whereas Linus—the fancy white toy breed—was a stray who we just sort of took in by accident. But that’s how it happened. Even though he’s the sweetest, most gentle, good-natured little animal I’ve ever known, the fact remains: we did not ask for him. Sometimes, I’ll just find myself marveling at how very tiny he is (12 pounds!) and pondering how it is that he’s even real and not just, say, an animatronic stuffed animal with a funky-smelling face. It’s sometimes truly puzzling that this creature looks to me as his caretaker.

Roundabout 6 times a year, I get to have the best day ever because Linus goes to get groomed! I like Linus to look a little bit scrappy (it just matches his personality better), but I live for the shocking reveal when he’s unveiled at the end of his session. It’s disorienting having a dog who can transform so much in the course of an hour or two, to the point that I’m positive I wouldn’t recognize him on the street. It’s like a perpetually thrilling magic act and I look forward to it immensely.


Here was Linus this morning, right before grooming. I had to take the picture on my iPhone because I was too lazy to go grab my camera.


And here he is this afternoon! Hilarious, right? I could laugh and laugh for days. I asked for a shorter ‘do this time for summer, and I can tell Linus is totally digging it. He’s a very subdued dog at home, but out on the street is where he lets his true colors shine through. And trust, the strut on this dog after grooming today was that of an animal who feels free and sexy and invigorated by style.

I know it’s hard to believe, what with the perfectly-coiffed snout and the blunt-cut ears and the pipe cleaner tail, but he’ll go back to being a scrappy mess within a few days. I promise! But for now, I’ll just be admiring the magic of it all. So fresh, so fancy.

No, we have no idea what kind of dog Linus is! I think maltese-miniature poodle cross, but we’ve literally heard everything! Poodle, Maltese, Bichon, Havanese, Coton de Tulear, maybe with a little terrier, the list goes on. They all look the same to me.  

Linus gets groomed by Jenny at the Petsmart on Atlantic Avenue, and we all LOVE her. She’s so great.

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. 4.1.13
    Shawn C said:

    Dawww… She looks super cute! Love the cut, it really brings her eyes out.

    • 4.1.13
      Rae said:

      Him! Linus is a BOY!

  2. 4.1.13
    Amber said:

    fabulous as always!

  3. 4.1.13
    Jo said:

    The blunt-cut ears CRACK ME UP.

  4. 4.1.13
    Muoi said:

    This made me laugh because the change in Linus is so drastic but he’s so friggin’ cute. He looks so dainty in that third picture, just perfectly coiffed.

    • 4.1.13
      Muoi said:

      And that first picture? Just precious lol

  5. 4.1.13
    kay* said:

    this post could have been written about my howard…except howard was intentional :-) and he’s 8lbs. the transformation is pretty darn hilarious isn’t it – i always laugh at him for a little while.

    and linus looks exactly like howard…i put my money on linus being a bichon/poodle mix…like howard :-)

  6. 4.1.13
    Sandy P. said:

    LMAO!!! He’s got the … WTF is so funny … Expression look on his face! Hahahahahaha! My shitzu’s cut is exactly like Linus’. Some idiots on the block says he’s got a bob haircut going on cause of his ears and they call him a q-tip cause he’s so white like Linus. Some even say that Simon is built like a cat with the heart of a lion!! Thats cause He went for their ankles … Wouldn’t you if they called you q-tip with a bob haircut??

  7. 4.1.13
    Jill said:

    AWWWW Linus!!! He’s the cutest.

  8. 4.1.13

    Ahhh, Linus looks like a very sweet, cutie pie. I understand what you mean. We’re big dog people, but what are you supposed to do if something turns up and begs to stay with you. I’m glad you took Linus in, and it’s great you let him get messy and dirty. That’s what dogs really want!

  9. 4.1.13
    augusta said:

    I have the “champagne” color version of this exact same dog! And I too find him chillin with his butt in the air. Not sure why he does this. When his hair is long and noodley he seems so melancholy but then after a haircut he turns into a wacky clown. I just love him. I just love them, the wonderful dogs, big and small.

  10. 4.1.13
    runswithscissors said:
  11. 4.1.13

    <3 LINUS <3 I'm emailing this post to my mother. She needs a Linus visit!!

    You know I live for the Bruno reveal when we pick him up. I love when we go out shopping or something the next day and then come back and forget that he had a haircut and laugh all over again.

    • 4.2.13
      Daniel said:

      I know, we need to figure out a weekend that works!!

  12. 4.2.13
    Jen said:

    Love the title to this post, and vicariously love that little guy!

  13. 4.2.13
    PAppel said:

    Linus is so cute. He looks a lot like my Chester. Chester is a fluffy Chinese Crested dog. Normally they are bald with little tufts of hair on their head and paws and they have been voted world’s ugliest breed several years running. However, 1 in 4 is a powder puff or little fluffy (with fair all over). I look forward to the same transformation when Chester is groomed. And I love Linus’ ears. Hmmm, maybe I’ll have Chester’s done similarly next time.

  14. 4.2.13
    Jack said:

    That first photograph if by far my favorite, my dogs do the same thing. I think it’s an itching thing. Without a doubt there is some maltese in the little fella. And all these posts so close together, I swear all my christmases are coming at once!

  15. 4.2.13

    Awwwww. I’m absolutely a cat person, but he is freakin’ adorable. Perhaps I wouldn’t mind a high maintenance fluff ball running around, after all! :-)

  16. 4.2.13
    Rachael said:

    Great post! What a sweet boy! I especially love the booty in the air picture. Dogs are such wonderful creatures :)

  17. 4.2.13
    Stacey said:

    My dog looks a lot like yours, down to his colour. You just described what happens when I take my mixed-don’t-even-know-which-and-how-many-breed little mutt to what I call his “spa day”. One moment he’s all fluffy and he looks big and then I get this tiny dog in return; every time I laugh at how small he really is! (mine is about 7 kilos). The funniest thing is how he enjoys the whole process. The groomer pets him and starts clipping his hair off and there he stands laughing :))) Aren’t dogs amazing? I love them! Yours is freaking adorable :)

  18. 4.2.13
    Ali said:

    I am sporting the most amazing graze on my leg from this morning’s walk with my american bulldog x bullmastiff (i wasn’t concentrating and he tripped me over). Right now I’m wishing we could swap dogs, the smaller ones cause less injuries :-) (love him to bits though)

  19. 4.2.13

    Too cute! He definitely realizes how much better he looks. How does Mekko react to his transformation?

    • 4.2.13
      Daniel said:

      She’s always SO confused! She smells him for a good half hour after we get home.

  20. 4.2.13
    Sonal said:

    Linus is such an adorable little fluff ball! Isn’t it funny that the dogs seem the enjoy the grooming even more than the owners? I know my long-haired dachshund struts his stuff like no other after his summer shaving and grooming.

  21. 4.2.13
    Rachel said:

    I love his bob haircut, so cute!

  22. 4.2.13
    Mandy said:

    For some reason, I love an unkempt pup. Shaggy=cute! :)

  23. 4.2.13

    I still love the story about how you came to own Linus. Warms my cold black heart.

    Based on a couple of small white poofy dogs my friends have, I definitely think he’s got bichon in him. You can totally see it in his post-grooming picture.

  24. 4.2.13
    Pacitav said:

    That cute Linus, has the qualities of a Bichon Frise! I’m sure

  25. 4.2.13
    Christa said:

    LINUS!!! Small dogs = small poops, so that’s one major advantage.

  26. 4.2.13
    zola said:


    I have a full grown 4 and a half lb cat (a Cornish Rex)

    I always think she is too small to even be real lol so I know what you mean about the animatronic creature . I often think how does she survive with a brain that small?

    super cute pic of Linus . He looks like a cotton ball.


  27. 4.3.13
    Monica said:

    OMG!! Those eyes, the nose, and just the overall fluffiness!

  28. 4.3.13
    Maggie said:

    Haha, extraordinary transformation, he’s def sweeter/cuter in his before.

  29. 4.3.13
    Dorie said:

    so adorable! i have an adopted dog too and so many people asked what he was that i got from a friend a dog DNA test. they’re only about $50 if you ever want to find out what Linus is for sure. all you do is swab the cheeks and send it off. super easy and fun to know!. there are many available if you just google.

    • 4.4.13
      Ashley said:

      I did a DNA test on my dog too! It felt very Jerry Springer swabbing her cheek but it was so fun to get the letter saying what kind of a mix we have. Not like it changes anything, but it’s just cool to know!

  30. 4.3.13

    Oh my he’s sooooo cute!

  31. 4.3.13
    nicolezh said:

    Linus is sooo damn cute!

  32. 4.5.13
    Kat said:

    So cute! I know a lot of people say this but Linus reminds me of my dog as well! They look very similar… Mine is a Lhasa Apso so he could be mixed in with a little of that, too.

  33. 4.5.13
    Lisa Saffer said:

    Linus is the doggy model rockstar…..

    I usually only lurk here, but I do love the Linus photo spreads. I don’t even like small dogs all that much, but I would really love to meet Linus, Perfect Photo Dog.

  34. 4.6.13
    Jaimie said:

    Aw, I love the pipe cleaner tail. My Kaia would have one too after she would get shaved (she was a chow/schipperke mix). So cute and fluffy for the first week, then it started looking kinda ratty and she hated if I tried brushing it out. Her dementia started accelerating last fall and I had to euthanize her. Still miss her so much.
    You can see a picture of her post-haircut here: http://instagram.com/p/RlacQ_pzxP/

  35. 4.9.13
    karen said:

    i think your maltese/poodle guess is a good one. at any rate, newly-trimmed linus reminds me of my childhood mini poodle mix and how she looked after a trim (only she would get kind of embarrassed-yet-frisky), and now i’m a getting a little sentimental. thanks for that.

  36. 4.11.13
    CHB said:

    Dan, you should get his DNA tested. I know it’s a little weird but for $70 you can find out the exact make up of your pup. I have a dog that looks very similiar to Linus (same size even) and would always get Mmltese/terrier/etc from people. The shelter I adopted him from told me he was a Shitzhu Mix. Turns out he was 50% chihuahua!!! And part Chinese Crested, Lowland Sheep dog, and even dachshund. Not one ounce of Shitzhu.

    • 4.11.13
      Daniel said:

      Yeah, I know…but I’m cheap! And I don’t really care that much. :)

  37. 4.13.13
    Diane said:

    I would not kick that dog out of bed. SO darn cute.