Merchandising mutts Featured

9:53am EDT July 22, 2002

When a sheep dog took up residence in Craig Adams’ neighborhood, it sparked an idea for a new business.

Adams, owner of Excelsior Copywriting Services, pointed out the dog to Annjanette Clark, an illustrator, and the two began to brainstorm over the idea of a book based on canine characters. They eventually conceived a series of children’s books based on 20 original doggie characters, including Wellington, inspired by the real-life Old English sheep dog that moved into Clark’s Mount Washington neighborhood.

Plans for the series, dubbed Paws Down Your Street, include Monroe, a basset hound, and Y2K Vic, the limited edition “Dog of the Millennium.” Ten of the books are currently in development.

The books average about 40 pages, and are designed, says Adams, to be read to children by adults.

A plush replica of its main character accompanies each of the books. Adams and Clark contract with a Los Angeles company to produce the stuffed toys.

The packages are at a few small children’s retailers already, with plans to get them into larger chains once they have demonstrated market appeal.

Now, that’s what you call putting on the dog.

Ray Marano