Monaco Paws- West Highland White Terriers, Domino and Nellie

Vanessa, Nellie & DominoThis week I spoke with Vanessa Ilsley, about her West Highland White  Terriers, Domino and Nellie.

 1.  What do you like about Westies?

‘My husband has always had Westies, they have lots of character and are very loyal.  It’s good to have two together.”

 2.  Did you have dogs growing up?

“My parents both worked with dogs professionally and that is how they met.  My mother still has dogs and always has several around, and now runs a German Shepard Rescue Charity.”

 3.  Where are your dogs most happy?

They love London where they can be let off their leash and walk by the river.”

 4.  What is the best part about having dogs?

“The unconditional love, and they are always so pleased to see you.  Plus many of the people I know in Monaco, I met through our dogs.”

 5.  What are their favorite special treats?

“Some mornings they get a yummy treata croissant from Bouchon.”

 6.  Do they have very different personalities?

“Yes, Nellie likes to have a perch and keep on eye on everything.  She is also very jealous of other girl dogs.  Domino loves his tennis balls and can play with them endlessly.”

 7.  Are they well-behaved?

“Well, mostly, but not always, but they never go far from me.”

Monaco Paws- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Jupiter

KaidiPhotography Jupiter and MarikaNothing is more adorable than a perfect little puppy.  This week Monaco Paws caught up with Marika Taishoff and her new best friend, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel – Jupiter.

1.  How long have you had Jupiter?

“Just about 10 days.”

2.  Is he your first dog?

“I had a poodle when I was a teenager, but not since then; I travelled too much. However, I have always been envious of my friends with dogs, so I just decided it was time to get one of my own.”

3.  Why did you choose to get a Cavalier?

“They are friendly, loving, cuddly and make great companions.  They get along with everyone too.”

4.  Has your life changed since you’ve had Jupiter?

“Yes, I’ve been much more social and now people stop me all the time to meet him. He has posed for photos for tourists from Australia, Germany, Russia, China, the US and UK. He seems to love the attention.”

5.  Have you starting any training with him?

“The house training is going okay, and he is starting to get used to being on the lead. When I speak to him in French he seems to respond better.  We are just getting to know one another.”

6.  Has he chewed any of your favorite shoes yet?

“I gave him an old Ugg slipper and he does like to nibble on my sneakers.”

7.  How did you choose his name?

“According to the breeding protocol, all dogs born in 2014 should be named something starting with the letter ‘J’, and the breeder I got him from was rather insistent.  I liked Jupiter because it is a symbol of justice and good fortune.  Sometimes I call him Super Juper.”

8.  What has surprised you the most about having a dog so far?

“How bright they are, he is learning things so quickly.  He also just exudes pure positive energy.”

9.  Does he have any favorite places in Monaco yet?

“He comes from a small village in the Var, so I think he is still in a bit of culture shock here. He is exploring a lot, but he does like to play and run around on the grassy area behind the casino.”

Marika is the Director of the MBA program at the International University of Monaco.

Golden Dog- Golden Retriever, Maya

Monaco Paws Maya & AlexMost dog owners think that their dogs are wonderful and unique, and after spending some time with the Golden Retriever, Maya, we must agree that she is a pretty special canine.

1.  How long have you had Maya?

“We got her from a breeder in the US when she was 3 months old, and she is 11 years old now.  She was the princess in our house before our sons were born, but now her place has gone down a bit.”

2.  Does she like living in Monaco?

“She loves the sea, and she loves to swim more than anything else.  She will even go in the water in the middle of winter…and then shiver for 3 hours afterwards.”

3.  Does she get on well with everyone?

“She can be a bit snobby, mostly she just ignores most other dogs.  If provoked she gets very aggressive and the other dogs generally run away quickly.”

4. What makes Maya most happy?

“She is really driven by three things; food, petting, and swimming.”  

5.  What does she like to eat?

“She loves to eat, and eats most everything although we try to give her a mainly raw diet.  She especially loves broccoli and comes running as soon as she sees it.”

6.  What do you like about having a dog?

“She is a great companion and when you have a dog it makes people smile and stop to chit-chat.  It connects you to other people.”

7.  Is it difficult to have a big dog?

“We take her everywhere and take trips by car so we can bring her.  She is a member of the family.”

8.  Maya is so calm and mellow, how did she get to be like that?

“Good breeding mostly, we choose her very carefully.  And she has an amazing capacity to understand.  She spends most of her time off the leash and is extremely obedient.” 

9.  What makes Maya such a special dog?

“She is good at reading your moods.  The moment I think about her, she comes to me.  She rarely disobeys.  She is practically a person, or at least one of the world’s best dogs.”

Monaco Paws- Parson Russell Terrier, Sparky

Monaco Paws Fader Walter & SparkyThis week we were very happy chat with Father Walter and his Parson Russell Terrier, Sparky.

1.  Where did you find Sparky?

“I adopted him from a rescue near Toulon.  He was already well trained when I got him.”

2.  What do you like about this breed?

“They are very quiet dogs, and very intelligent and devoted.  But he will chase most things that move, although he won’t attack.”

3.  Does Sparky have any special friends?

“He likes a dog called O’Neil who lives down the street and he is well cared for by the Rowe family whenever I have to go away.  They have 5 dogs of their own, so he just joins their pack.”

4.  Where do you like to take Sparky for walks?

“We go everywhere.  He is a good hiker, so we go in the mountains quiet often.  He used to be pretty tireless, but now that he is a bit older he has slowed down a little.”

5.  What is the best thing about having a dog?

“He is great company and great for my health.  He must be walked a lot every day so he helps keep me active.”

6.  Does he have any special habits?

“He loves to play. The greatest honour he can bestow on someone is to pick out a toy and bring it to you and ask you to play with him.  His favorite toys are the squeaky, rubbery ones.”

7.  Does Sparky participate in your priestly duties?

“He is always at the 8am service on Sundays and when I say “Go forth”, he goes.  Also when I am counseling, he likes to stay close by.  I refer to him as ‘My Assistant’.” 

Ever-Ready, Ever-Bright

Monaco Paws Ever and IrinaThe sun is out, the flowers are in bloom and Monaco Paws is back on the street.  Irina Peterson and her Miniature Pinscher, Ever, are rarely apart.  This week Monaco Paws found them enjoying a lovely afternoon outside the new Monaco Yacht Club.

Do you find Monaco to be very dog-friendly?

It opens a new universe.  I had lived in Monaco for 17 years before I got Ever and thought I knew a lot of people.  Since having him the number of people I know has doubled.

Is it easy to keep Ever with you all day?

Yes, he comes to the office with me everyday and has a bed there where he rests quietly while I work. He hates to be alone, but he is not a “bag-dog”; he won’t stay in a bag.  He feels a little offended to be put in a bag.

How has Ever affected your life?

He has changed my life for the better.  I have learned so much.  Dogs just help you to be 100% in the present.  There is no dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.  He is my dog, but I also feel like I am his human and therefore responsible for his happiness and well-being.  It is a mutual and reciprocal relationship.

What do you like about Miniature Pinschers?

They have lots of personality, I love their looks and they are very adaptable.  They can be very active and athletic, but also calm and affectionate.  He is friends with everyone.  He likes kids and all animals; cats, dogs, rabbits and even turtles.

Is it an intelligent breed?

He is very s
mart and a little cheeky.  I can’t fool him more than twice.  He had some formal training and is very well-mannered.  He only barks if there is trouble.  Once I found him barking loudly at a cupboard and when I opened it, I saw a small electrical fire had started.

Pinschers often have their ears and tails clipped, why didn’t you do that with Ever?

I insisted that he remain in his natural state.  Plus he talks to me so much through his ears and tail.  I can tell what he is thinking by the position of his ears and judge his mood by his tail.

Ever looks like a very sporty dog.  Does he need a lot of exercise?

He really appreciates exercise.  On the weekends he runs 10K with my running club and me. Ever has also participated three times in the charity event, No Finish Line.  This year he completed 75 kilometers.

Have you bred Ever?

He rece
ntly became a father for the first time!  The neighbor of a friend also has a beautiful Miniature Pinscher and they met in a garden in Nice and just played and got on so well.  Two adorable puppies were born last August.

Do you think you will continue to breed Ever?

Well, if he falls in love again, I won’t prevent it.

For The Most Adorable Pets Only


We all love to pamper our pets, perhaps with a sparkly new collar or a soft cushy bed.  This week Monaco Paws stopped by the chicest pet shop in town to talk with Marilisa Tomasini the owner of the shop For Pets Only (3, Ave Princesse Alice +377 93 25 77 77).

  1. When and why did you open your shop? 

I’ve been open for just over a year.  I’ve always had dogs so I was familiar with the For Pets Only brand and there wasn’t any place like it in Monaco.

  1. How has business been so far?

We have a great location in the heart of Monaco.  I have lots of local customers and also tourists who come from all over the world.

  1. What are your best selling products?

Mostly the collars because we have a great selection of different styles.  We also offer grooming for dogs and cats.

  1. How many dogs do you have of your own?

I have three dogs: Set, Vicky (both West Highland Terriers) and Sara (Spaniel mix).  Set is 8 and is very possessive; he thinks he is my boyfriend.  Vicky acts like a cat and Sara is pretty relaxed.

  1. Why do you like Westies?

They don’t shed their hair very much and they are always white and smell clean.

  1. Do your dogs come to the shop everyday?

I like to keep them here, but just for half the day.  They get very jealous when I give attention to other dogs.

  1. Where do you like to walk your dogs?

We go to the Casino Gardens everyday, they love to see the ducks in the fountain.

  1. Do you think dogs are very welcome around Monaco?

Oh yes, people here have a special relationship with their dogs.

  1. Why do you think dogs become so important in their owner’s lives?

Dogs are good for people.  They are especially good for older people.  It gives them something to do.  Dogs just bring joy and happiness.

Twice the Fun

1-2015 KaidiPhotography, McPaws Chloe & Izzy-016Chloe and Izzy are two Boston Terriers often seen around town with their owners Anne and Patrick Dewez.  Monaco Paws met up with Anne to find out what makes this doggy duo so dynamic.

  1. Why did you choose Boston Terriers?

We had lost a much-loved Boxer and were ready for a new dog, but we had moved from a house to an apartment and needed to find a smaller dog.  As a good Harvard Business School graduate, I decided to conduct a comprehensive survey of trainers, vets and breeders.  I described our family and lifestyle and everyone said the same thing; get a Boston Terrier.

  1. What are the dominant characteristics of Boston Terriers?

They are smart, learn quickly and are just clowns.  They look funny and are very engaging.  My husband Patrick said he wanted a dog that made him laugh and that’s what we get every day.

  1. They have an amazing amount of energy.  Have you trained them to do some tricks?

We took them to L’ Ecole de Chien so they are good with all the basics.  Izzy can jump 3 feet, especially if I tempt her with a plastic water bottle.

  1. How much exercise do they get each day?

Almost every morning we walk to Plage Marquet which is about 4 kilometers.  Its good exercise for them and good for me too.

  1. Sometimes little dogs are not good with children.  Do Chloe and Izzy like kids? 

They love kids.  Izzy will fetch endlessly if they throw the ball for her.

  1. And are they good with other dogs?

They are always curious but not aggressive.  They are good with virtually all the dogs, big and small, that we meet on our walks. Their special friends are 2 pugs and a golden retriever.

  1. Do you think of them as your children now that your boys are grown up?

They are our girls.  I think Patrick is a little more indulgent with them than I am.

  1. What do you think makes a good dog owner?

You really have to be 100% committed to giving them the training and care they need and lots of exercise.  And when they get old and are suffering it is important not to keep them alive just because of your own attachment.

  1. Do you think there are any special advantages to having a dog in Monaco?

Yes! Not least, the ready availability of bags for cleaning up. Also, there are plenty of places to walk and play with them and Monaco residents and businesses (restaurants, shops) are particularly dog-friendly.

  1. Are two better than one?

Of course!  We get twice the laughs and twice the love.

The Princess and her Pirate

KaidiPhotography Beloved Monaco café, Princesse Pirate (7 Avenue de l’Hermitage, +377 97 98 11 13), is best known for two things; super yummy cupcakes and the gorgeous cocker spaniel Lola.  Monaco Paws chatted with owner and entrepreneur Stephanie Bovini over tea and some very tasty treats.

1. How did Lola get her name?

I always wanted to have a daughter and give her the name Lola.  But instead I had three sons.  So I knew when I got her two years ago that I would call her Lola.

  1. How does she get along with your sons?

Her very best friend is my son Sasha.  She will pick up a toy and bring it to him to play with her.  She cuddles with the rest of us, but Sasha is her favorite and her playmate.

  1. Has Lola always come to the café?

Everywhere I go, she comes.  When she was a puppy I used to put her on corner bench and now that is her spot, unless we are really busy.

  1. Lola seems very well behaved, did she have any special training?

My husband used to be a veterinary assistant so he was in charge of her education and did all the training.  She knows to stay on the premises; she’s never crossed the street outside the café.

  1. Does she get along well with other animals?

At the café she is fine and gets along with everyone.  But at home it’s different.  She defends the house and won’t allow any other animals to be around, not a cat or even a goldfish.

  1. Does Lola get to eat your cupcakes?

No, never cupcakes.  Her favorite treats are cherry tomatoes.  They are like bonbons to her.

  1. How many cupcakes do you make everyday?

I make 54 cupcakes every morning.  They are available here, but we are also selling them a few other places around town.  I also love to make special birthday cakes.

  1. Lola is a very pretty dog.  Is it a lot of work to keep her looking like a princess?

Every Sunday she gets a bath.  Cocker spaniels often have problems with their eyes and ears, so I have to pay extra attention to those areas.

  1. What does Lola like to do when she is not at the café?

She is completely mad about the water.  She would swim to Corsica if we let her.  We also go hiking in the mountains.  She prefers to walk free off the lead.

  1. How do your customers react when they meet Lola?

Everybody loves Lola!

Hugo, the Brave

KaidiPhotography Art of an EyeMonaco Paws spent a sunny fall afternoon learning about the Dachshund called Hugo.  Hugo is part of the Bruner family, pictured here with Mum Edwige and girls Charlotte (8 years old) and Lauren (3 years old).
Where did you get Hugo?
We saw him in the window of a pet shop on Madison Avenue in New York on Christmas Eve.  He ended up as my Christmas present, that was 10 years ago.
How did he adjust to living in Monaco?
It’s so much better here.  He was a terrible city dog.  It was very lucky to come here where he has a garden and can run freely.  And here he can go everywhere with us.  He goes in the pool, and on the boat too.  When we go to restaurants Hugo is usually the most well behaved member of our party.
Who takes care of Hugo?
Charlotte:  I take care of him when I’m not at school.  I play with him and give him treats.
What does Hugo eat?
Charlotte:  We feed him all day long.
Edwige:  Well, that’s true (laughing).  He also loves to eat the lemons that fall from the trees in the garden.  He is the only dog I know who loves citrus.
Have you trained Hugo?
Charlotte:  I tried to teach him some things.  I taught him to sit.
Edwige:  He needs training or he gets bored.  We trained him to chase a ball and now he is obsessed with it.
Do you speak to Hugo in French or English?
He is an American dog, so we speak in English.  Except “Ça suffit”.  That became his surname for a while.
Is Hugo a good friend?
Charlotte:  I love it when he chases his tail.
Edwige:  Lauren really tortures him and he never reacts.  We never get bored with him and he loves us no matter what.
Does Hugo like to cuddle?
He is a perfect lap dog.  He likes to be the “Choux-choux”.
Charlotte:  He comes into my bed in winter.  Sometimes he gets stuck in my hair.
Does Hugo have any nicknames?
We call him “Chauffe-pieds” or the “Foot Warmer”.
Is Hugo a good watch-dog?
He is very protective and brave for a little dog.  Actually, a few weeks ago we heard him barking in the middle of the night and found there was an intruder trying to break in.  Hugo saved us!

Patience Pays

KaidiPhotographyOver three years ago Ylja Bartlett Venema and her husband decided that they wanted a dog.  However, it wasn’t until about six months ago they finally got Flapperlingen (Flappy), a Cavapoo.  Cavapoos are a fairly new breed; a cross of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a Poodle.  Monaco Paws wanted to find out if their patience has paid off.

How did Flapperlingen get his name?

About three years ago we were sitting by the sea one day and watching a flag flapping in the wind.  We thought Flapperlingen would be a great name for a dog.

Why did you wait three years?

We looked around a lot, but my husband kept getting cold feet about it.  I finally bought the puppy for him as a surprise gift.

Where did you get Flappy?

I bought him from a breeder in Holland when he was 8 weeks old.

What is special about this breed?

My husband has allergies, so we needed a breed that does not shed.  And we like the low-key personality of Cavaliers.  Together it makes the perfect dog for us.  Also because he is easy to have in an apartment.

Has it been difficult to train him?

He is so sweet, he didn’t really need much training.  He is very obedient and I like to let him off the lead as much as possible.

You speak three languages, what do you use with Flappy?

The commands are always in English, but sometime I speak Dutch & Frysian to him too.

Has having a puppy impacted your lifestyle?

I take him to work and it is great to have his company.  He is only 7 kilos, so I can easily take him everywhere.  It’s been really easy.  He adapts very quickly wherever we go, although he hates being in the car.

Are you enjoying finally being a dog-owner?

He is so cuddly and gives so much love.  He’s just so sweet.

So was Flappy worth the wait?

It’s the best thing that ever happened to us.