In Irving Berlin’s song “Puttin’ On The Ritz,” there’s a famous line about being dressed up like a million-dollar trooper and trying hard to look like Gary Cooper.
The next rhyme is “super duper,” but for Jeremy Blakeman, who puts on the Ritz to go walk Fritz, it could just as well be “pooper scooper.”
The above flier was spotted on a telephone pole outside Dandyism.net headquarters. Now dandies have historically been cat people. Baudelaire even likened cats to dandies (or dandies to cats, we can’t remember), but we were so intrigued at the idea of having our fictitious dog walked for us by an elegantly attired young gentleman, we reached out to Blakeman to find out more about his business, The Dashing Dog Walker.
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DNET: Do you really have a self-imposed “dashing” dress code when you take dogs for a walk?
JB: The concept behind my logo and business name was to present the image of a gentleman — someone who is polite, trustworthy, and respectful. Of course it’s meant to be whimsical as well.
As far as a dress code, I don’t wear a top hat and tails, but I also don’t wear a fanny pack filled with keys and leashes. Depending on the weather, I try to make an effort to be well dressed. The fall is my favorite time for this, as I can layer sweaters, jackets, and scarfs, while wearing a nice pair of boots, perhaps, and a hat. If the mood strikes me, i’ll wear a bow tie. I enjoy fashion, and if you feel good in what you’re wearing, it elevates your mood, and the moods of everyone you encounter — especially the dogs!
DNET: Is there any scientific evidence that dogs behave better when the person walking them is suitably attired?
JB: I believe that style is your presence, and dogs are highly intuitive beings that are extremely aware of the presences around them, and this will certainly affect their behavior. So ultimately I do believe a “suitably attired” person may experience better behavior with their dog simply because they’re putting out more positive energy.
DNET: What are your favorite dog breeds?
JB: The greyhound is my absolute favorite breed and is what I use in my logo. Besides being astoundingly chic dogs, they have such gentle and almost ethereal dispositions. Most that you see in NYC are rescues from the racing industry. But of course, I love all dogs!
DNET: Is there a dignified way of cleaning up after them?
JB: The key is to be quick and discreet, and use scented poo bags if possible.