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    “Only in the Highlands,” my husband grinned, as he picked up a hemp dog collar. Alba, our almost-year-old Samoyed, swished her fluffy white tail and passed by, uninterested. We were at Good Dogs & Co. on Bardstown Road collar-shopping, though not for the hemp variety.

    Brian and Alba at Good DogsMichele Keirle performs double duty as owner of the doggie boutique and miracle-worker dog behaviorist. Though we’d learned from our initial meeting and two private sessions so far that like The Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan, it’s really the two-legged members of the family that she trains.

    Michele is working with us to resolve some doggie issues that started when we brought our four-month-old puppy home. Super anxious, sometimes aggressive, and obsessed with chewing on our older and much smaller dog Truffle, Alba had us at wit’s end. The final straw came when she bit Truffle’s tail almost off.

    Luckily for all of us, Michele was training the whole family. And we were here on assignment. Our mission? Buy a collar that won’t drive Alba — and us — berserk when we put it on, and that won’t let her slip out and flee. Specifically we needed a Martingale collar, a special style that slips over a dog’s head and cinches snugly, but not too tightly, around their neck.

    So, with this week’s extra cash from our payroll stimulus burning a hole in our pockets, we tried to bribe Alba with freebie treat samples as we tried on several colors and patterns of the $39.99 American made “Just Dottie! Collection.” I loved the bright pink collar with black polka dots but my husband vetoed. We compromised with a bright blue with green polka dots, unperturbed when the shopkeeper protested that it was for boys. Our boy dog’s name is Truffle. Does it sound like we put our dogs in gender boxes?

    Alba's new collarI would’ve liked to have spent more time browsing the boutique, checking out the doggie perfumes, adorable clothing and special make-your-dog-smart toys, but a group of people entered with much hub-bub and failed attempts at petting our scaredy-dog, leaving Alba cowering and growling. Michele still has some work to do with us. But the collar is great!

    Good Dogs & Co.
    1829 Bardstown Rd.
    (502) 327-0160
    Call ahead, their hours are limited and they’re in the process of (maybe) moving.

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