Michelle Parker had the 5ft-long scarf made from her two dogs after spotting the design trend on Facebook
Image: PA/Michelle Parker)
When Leeds dog owner Michelle Parker, 54, first saw a super-glam scarf knitted from pet fur, she knew she had to have one made from the coats of her two dogs.
Michelle, who owns Samoyed, Luka, who is four, and Keeshond, Keisha, now 12, managed to collect 15oz of Luka’s luxurious hair (as he moulted) and 7oz of Keisha’s.
Luka’s fur was used to make her a 5ft-long scarf, and Keisha’s coat made the decorative pom-poms.
The idea for a dog fur scarf first hit Michelle, who is semi-retired from her career as a design consultant, when she saw someone else had one on Facebook.
So she tracked down Essex spinning and knitting expert Andrea Devine, who specialises in making keepsakes for pet owners from their dogs’ fur, and who Michelle knew would not “dilute” the fur with wool to make it easier to spin and knit.
“That was important to me and I was already aware of Andrea’s work when I saw her at Crufts, where she had a scarf and hat on her stand,” explains Michelle, who was given her first Samoyed, called Roscoe, as a present from her parents for her 18th birthday.
Michelle was attending Crufts with Keisha, who has twice won ‘Best In Show’.
Michelle paid £185 for her showstopper scarf, which she says feels glamourous and plush, but admits she has only worn it once – in the depths of a northern winter last Christmas.
And as well as the scarf, she had three dog-fur dogs made by Andrea, again as keepsakes of her beloved pets, which she says will be meaningful when her pets are no longer with her.
TeamDogs is a community for dog lovers who want to get the most out of their relationship with their best pal.
Michelle says the three things she admires most about her beloved Samoyed breed are their keen intelligence, mischievousness and the fact they’re gorgeous to look at, but she warns, this is not a breed for first-time dog-owners.
“They don’t like being left alone, so you need to make sure you have the time to devote to them,” she says.
“I waited until my work was less demanding and I could give Luka that time.”
Michelle is so committed to raising awareness of this stunning breed, she is also now a volunteer with the No To Dog Meat charity, which campaigns to stop the Yulin dog meat trade in China.
“They kill the Samoyeds for their fur and then the meat goes to the dog meat traders,” she says.
You can support the global No To Dog Meat campaign here: www.justgiving.com/notodogmeat
Andrea Devine specialises in spinning and knitting dog fur keepsakes. Order from her website here: www.devinespinning.co.uk