Friday, February 16, 2024

Reminiscing About Our First Mascot, Byron

A woman with her brown dog
Byron and Me
Dunitz & Company has had several mascots since we first started our business. Byron was our first. My sweet Vizla - Weimaraner Mix was the light of my life for over 15 years. Can you believe it? Byron was not a rescue. My mom purchased him for me for $100.00 from a "backyard breeder" who was a friend of a friend. The year was 1995. We knew the dog parents. It was before I was aware of dog overpopulation and overcrowded shelters having to regularly euthanize them. What I do remember is my mom's voice when I thought I might not be able to care for a dog, "JUST PICK ONE OUT!" She was right. Byron brought me so much joy.

Cutest Puppy EVER!
Byron was only 7-1/2 weeks when I brought him home. And he was a little terror. I caught this photo of him (my favorite puppy pic) when he jumped up into this planter. Not long after that he shredded the entire plant to smithereens. My neighbors teased that his name must be "Bad Dog, NO!"  He was so adventurous and super high energy. Most dog people said he was lucky to have me because most people would not have put up with his activity needs. We spent a lot of time at dog parks, hiking and running stairs at the Hollywood Bowl. He was the best kisser. One kiss meant a face wash because that dog had the largest tongue ever.

A Brown dog wearing eyeglasses and beaded eye leash
But, alas, this is a post attached to my fair trade jewelry business. For that reason, I'm going to share a bunch of photos of him wearing beaded jewelry.  It had been a good year and I decided to hire an amazing photographer, Amy Cantrell to take an amazing collection of photos I enlarged and shared in my trade show booths for a few years. (I remember when I stopped showing them, my customers would sheepishly as if he was OK and still living.) For the purpose of this blog, I actually took snapshots of the posters. That means they're not quite as crisp as if they were 1st generation.  Just the same, I know you'll love seeing them. I sure have enjoyed reminiscing. This pic with the glasses is one of the funniest. And I'm surprised we ever "got it" because he kept tossing them off his face.


The 'blue necklace' photo showed off Byron's absolute beauty and those enviable ears the best. I liked the photo so much, I 'pissed away' $$ on pins I gave out to my customers. It was good for a few laughs.

Brown Dog wearing rainbow bead jewelry

Here are the other photos I hung up in the trade show booth. Byron in "rainbow", Byron in "turquoise", Byron in Swarovski crystal necklaces. My boy looked so stunning in all of our jewelry designs.

Brown dog wearing turquoise color jewelry

Brown Dog wearing crystal bead choker necklace



A HUGE kiss for Nancy
Amy sneaked in this one on photo shoot day!





The Color Answer Book
In the early 2000's, I collaborated with artisans in South India to bring beautiful beaded dog collars to doting dog parents in the USA. Sadly, the project didn't last. However, Byron the model is featured in perpetuity in "The Color Answer Book" by renowned color specialist, Leatrice Eiseman. Eiseman is the Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. She saw this photo in our New York trade show booth and asked if she could use in her then upcoming book. The book was released in 2003. The photograph was taken by me.

Byron life ended before the Facebook and Instagram craze. Toward the end of his years, Facebook was catching on. Digital cameras were the norm. And print film was a thing of the past. We actually mailed out paper holiday cards with Byron's image several times. With Photoshop artistry we offered up some fun ones. And later on, we posted a few to Facebook when social media was gaining traction and we didn't want to purchase sooooo many stamps.  How can we not share some of those fun images?


A Big Kiss for UPS man
My parting thought is to speak to Byron's loving disposition. That dog wouldn't have hurt a flea. (Although sometimes the fleas would bug him.) He's the only dog, so I was told, that our vet would allow near his infant son. Byron wanted to play with every dog or human he met. And if allowed, he had a kiss for everyone. At Dunitz & Company, that happened daily with our UPS driver. -ND