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Puppy love leads to pug mania
By Minnie McBride IJ Reporter

Jett Crain had no way of knowing how her life would change so drastically when she brought home a small, black pug puppy named Yogi two years ago.

The Novato resident would've busted up laughing if somebody had predicted she would co-found a monthly Pug Sunday gathering and eventually start her own line of pug-specific coats called Pug Snuggly by YOGI.

Both happened, and Crain will be featured on Channel 5's "Evening Magazine" at 7 tomorrow night in a red-carpet pug fashion show with local pug models.

"The little stinker, he has no clue what he started," Crain says of Yogi, her 2-year old male purebred.

Pug owners often say their pets have a way of taking over their owners' lives. When Crain, a painter and designer, met Linda Woo, who also owned a pug, the two decided to get their dogs together to play. Nine pugs arrived for the first Novato Pug Sunday in April 2004. A year later and the group has grown to 40 pugs and draws people from as far away as Guerneville for the monthly meetings at the Hamilton amphitheater.

Another group of pug owners meets monthly at Bayfront Park in Mill Valley as well.

Crain has organized many Pug Sunday-related events, including a monthly raffle, a Halloween costume party and a photo shoot with a black pug Santa at Christmas. She has ordered baseball hats for the pug owners, developed a Web site for the group, made a 2005 calendar and created a Pug Sunday photo album.

PUGS: Stylin' in their coats
"We've come to Pug Sunday since last June," said Adrianne Krongard of San Rafael, owner of three pugs. "The people are wonderful, and Crain keeps everyone informed via e:mail. It is a social outlet for the dogs and us."

As accidentally as the gathering came about, so did Crain's business. It all started when she was given a coat for Yogi last fall by the owner of Yogi's friend, Buster, who was too big for the coat. It gave Crain an idea.

Crain, who learned to sew from her seamstress mother, decided to make a few coats for Yogi and Buster. Her waterproof camouflage coats with faux fur lining, got lots of compliments. At the same time, she began hearing complaints about how coats from other designers did not fit well; pugs have unusually broad torso and thick necks that are much different than other small short-haired dogs. Crain started refining the design of her original coat, making it simpler to put on, especially for elderly pug owners.

By January she had a design that fit the unique pug body. A patent is pending on her design.

"My dogs like their Pug Snuggly and I like it because they are very cute," said San Anselmo resident, Abra Berkson, owner of PugCafe.com. "Every pug I see in them is so adorable and so happy.

" When she was little, Crain made dog clothes for the family's Britney Spaniel. "How ironic... here I am, making little dog coats again. But I'm having a lot of fun with it."

The new coat is streamlined, lightweight and fastens easily, with one Velcro strap under the belly. They are made of soft fleece, in various colors and prints, including leopard, aloha and pleather.

The top-of-the-line coat sells for $40.00. Crain donates a portion of all sales to pug rescue efforts because she says she wants to give back to the little breed that gave her so much.

Crain's dream is to sell Pug Snuggly so that she can move to Maui. "I can't imagine this happening without the Pug Sunday group, promoting it and supporting it. If I make it, we all make it."

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