Happy Birthday Galen!

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  • October 4, 2016
  • by Jacki Skole
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On September 25, the New York Times’ Sunday Styles section paid tribute to “Fashion’s Favorite Pets”: Marc Jacobs’ bull terrier Neville, Karl Lagerfeld’s Birman cat Choupette, and Thom Browne’s miniature dachshund Hector, all of whom, the article says, inspire their designer-owners. The news hook for the story was the kick off of the fashion book season. (If you didn’t know there is a fashion book season, you’re not alone. Apparently, it corresponds with the launch of the women’s wear fashion season.)

According to the Times’, the book that stands out this year is Neville Jacobs: I’m Marc’s Dog, which features pictures of Neville taken by photographer Nicolas Newbold. The book’s cover features Neville wearing a blue and yellow sweater presumably designed by Jacobs. No stranger to photo shoots, Neville has appeared on the covers of Paper magazine and Architectural Digest. “If there’s a set of lights and a tripod he’ll go right to set and sit and look,” Newbold told the Times.

Neville Jacobs, photograph by Nicolas Newbold
Neville, photograph by Nicolas Newbold

To celebrate Galen’s sixth birthday, I’ve profiled her the way the Times profiled Neville, Choupette, and Hector. (You can read the Times’ story here.)

Galen Belle Skole, Australian shepherd-black Labrador retriever

Age: 6 years old galen-backyard

Instagram: 42 followers (Not quite the 194,000 followers Neville has, but perhaps after this post she’ll have closer to the 2,300 followers Hector has.)

Major media moment: Galen still awaits her moment in the klieg lights. (Film rights to DOGLAND anyone?)

Best friend: Galen prefers people to dogs, a fact that makes my mother’s dog, who loves Galen with all his heart, quite sad. Thus, the honor of best friend goes to Nicole, who works at one of Galen’s all-time favorite places: doggy day care.

Galen and the boy who loves her
Galen and the boy who loves her

Daily life: Galen’s got it good. One day a week she goes to daycare where she is spoiled by Nicole and the rest of the staff. On days she’s home, she curls up in her crate—her safe place, or shoves her head under the couch—I’m not sure who she thinks she’s hiding from, or she ventures outside—through the doggie door we installed for her—to soak up the sun or chase the random squirrel or deer or gopher that trespasses through our yard. Indulged as she is, she’s not quite as pampered as Choupette who spends her days with Lagerfeld and two women “tasked with entertaining her, taking care of her white hair, putting beauty treatments on her eyes and more.”

I'm hiding!
I’m hiding!

Books about her: DOGLAND: A Journey to the Heart of America’s Dog Problem

Friendliness level: Galen’s not Neville who will “snuggle up with anyone”—she’s too aloof for that. (Alas, she doesn’t even snuggle with family.) But while she’s no lover-girl, she is a gentle soul who befriends everyone she meets, especially those—like the mail carrier and UPS driver—who visit bearing treats.

Food habits: Galen takes her meals outside, rain, snow, or shine—her choice, not ours. She started this habit as a pup when she decided she no longer liked walking or standing on hardwood floors. In fact, the room in the house she enters least is the room that most dogs enter most: the kitchen.

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