A Tremendous Love For Throwaway Dogs

I was born with a heart for dogs - all animals, really. Since I was a little girl I have always brought home a stray dog or cat.

One time I brought home an abandoned kitten and hid her in my room fearing that my mom wouldn't let me keep her. I smuggled bologna and milk from our fridge for her (yeah, not the best diet but what does an eight-year-old know?)

Of course, my mom found out and let me keep her along with the other dogs, cats, parakeets, tortoises, mice, hamsters and various animals I brought home. It was kind of a zoo at my childhood home, and my love for animals never wavered after I grew up.

When I went to college, I had every intention of becoming a veterinarian. My path changed, however, when there was a seeing eye dog in one of my classes. I was fascinated by the dog’s abilities and was so impressed with the bond between the dog and her person that I ended up paying more attention to them than the professor.

I left school that day and later enrolled in a dog training school. I became a certified master trainer and have been training dogs for over 30 years. Through the years, I witnessed so many dogs being "thrown away," abandoned for no good reason so I began fostering dogs. We rehabilitated them and placed them in loving, forever homes. These dogs had been through so much.

My family and I fostered hundreds of dogs and quite a few really stand out in my mind.



Marley, a two-year-old Border Collie, was found lying in the tall brush of a Utah sheep field. She had a broken femur and is believed to have been left behind by some ranchers that had passed through days earlier. She was in horrific pain. She came to our home to heal and after her surgeries and physical therapy, she found her forever home!



Another memorable rescue is Delilah. An adorable girl that found herself homeless once again after being passed from home to home. She was so scared of every person she met. She didn’t trust people at all. She stayed with us until she found the most committed mom. Her mom came out to our home repeatedly just so Delilah could get comfortable enough with her to take her home. She eventually trusted enough and has been living in her permanent home for years now!



There was also Phoenix, our sweet girl that we foster failed with. Phoenix was found dragging her broken body through a landfill in New Mexico. Her back legs were broken and her body was emaciated and filled with ticks. The vets guessed she must have been living in that garbage dump for months. This poor girl had endured unimaginable abuse. We knew she was home with us and this girl is so full of life and spunk. After all, her name is Phoenix - she has risen from the ashes!

I have many more stories like these, and as I watched all these dogs go through horrific circumstances, I wanted them to have something truly special and unique. They needed their own name, their own family and a place they could call home. I wanted these dogs to have a unique ID tag with their new permanent name and phone number so they could always be returned home if they were lost.

And with that in mind, Swanky Dog Boutique was born.

With the help of my husband, I began making custom ID tags to match each dog's personality. Each one unique and custom made just for that special dog.

  • In My Shop

    I love the whole process of creating these pieces. I love thinking of the designs and I LOVE soldering them and seeing the finished product.

  • Hand Stamping

    After some of my friends and family saw what I was doing, they started requesting some for their own dogs. Then they started requesting other hand stamped creations.

  • My Favorite Work Surface

    This designing and creating process means so much to me, and I was so thrilled to open my Etsy shop and this website. The possibilities are endless for each item that is hand-crafted.

I live in Glendale, Arizona with my husband Jerry. We have two daughters Nikki and Cassidy. We have five dogs Zoe, Naomi, Phoenix, Daphne and Otis. We also have a giant tortoise named Bentlie, and most of the time we have a foster dog hanging around our house as well.

We enjoy hanging out together and taking an occasional run up north to enjoy the beautiful Arizona scenery.

I so look forward to where this journey will take me. And I hope you’ll be a part of the journey with me!