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Pet Shop Girl

Heidi Barraza is Beacon Hill's source for chic beds (to match the curtains) and too-cute leashes (to wow 'em at the club) for the doggy set.

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Janice O'Leary
May 4, 2008

How did you start up Four Preppy Paws?

Cuchufli [her schnoodle, named after a kind of Chilean cookie] was my muse. I wanted a preppy Red Sox collar for him, but couldn't find one, so I decided to make one myself. How I dress him is really a reflection of how I see my dog. He's like a preppy little boy.

Have dogs become like children in our culture?

Yes, definitely. People treat their pets as kids. Except you can leave them at home for four hours in their crates.

Why?

Society has changed. We marry later, live single with a dog. . . . So now we take better care of them.

Do you still make the collars and leashes yourself for your wholesale business?

I do. Cricket [her bichapoo] is testing out a new design. It's sky blue with little red wagons on it. Cuchufli is wearing a ribbon I custom-make for Holy Cross College, my husband's alma mater. And Chatham [her cockapoo] is wearing an old standby - turtles. They all wear the same collar size.

So it's like they're college roommates and can share?

That's right. We have a closet that's been taken over by their doggie accessories.

Is there a fashion faux pas a dog can make?

I'd have to say pants.

What works?

Most Beacon Hillers - where the store is - want practical clothes for their dogs. Not a lot of rhinestones and diamonds. I sell a lot of quilted barn jackets.

Do all your dogs wear the clothes?

Chatham won't. She won't budge if I try to put them on her.

Four Preppy Paws
103 Charles Street, Boston, 617-723-0112, fourpreppypaws.com

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