Living Proof

Our occasional reminder that people aren't all bastards

Amber Nickel, judging by the promo materials she sent for the upcoming Doggy Monster Ball, likes awful dog puns. A lot.

"As you may be aware," begins the letter Nickel, co-owner of Pawsh Wash and Pet Health Market, sent to local businesses, "the Lawrence Humane Society has had a 'ruff' year. The city cut their budget by 4%, necessary building renovations were completed and they are busting at the seams with homeless pets since spring."

She's billing the ball as a big "pawty," and at the end of the night the businesses that fetched the most money in the month-long "Throw 'em a Bone" fundraiser will be honored as "top dogs."


Submitted photo

Past Doggy Monster Ball Pawty

When I met with her and co-conspirator Tanya McNeely, co-owner of the Jazzhaus, she couldn't help but chuckle when she mentioned that they'll have a "catwalk for the dogs" for the doggy fashion show they're putting on.

The ball was the result of Nickel and McNeely's shared love of dressing their dogs up in costumes. Initially, Nickel wanted to throw a doggy fashion show and McNeely wanted to throw a costume party. The idea evolved into a ball including a doggy costume contest, a "trick for treat" contest, a raffle and a fashion show featuring shelter dogs.

Last year, Nickel's two dogs, a French bulldog named Rosie and a Boston terrier named Mista Bean, dressed as Yoda and Darth Vader, respectively. (Rosie was dyed green).

Past Event

Doggy Monster Ball Pawty

  • Sunday, October 28, 2007, 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
  • Jazzhaus, 926 1/2 Mass., Lawrence
  • All ages


"My Frenchy will wear anything," she says. "I've put her in shoes, I've put her in hats, outfits. She'll wear everything. My Boston, he will let me put stuff on him but then he acts depressed. Then he gets over the depression-that passes pretty quickly-and then he starts running around like crazy. And then it kinda falls off."

McNeely's Jack Russell terrier, Zappa, meanwhile, wore a mussel-man outfit with barbells for about 15 seconds. Then he tore it to shreds.

"He doesn't like it," she says, "but he puts up with it."

The following local businesses are accepting donations for the Lawrence Humane Society in the "Throw 'em a Bone" fundraiser:

Red Lyon Tavern, Big Daddy Cadillac Tattoos, Stitch On Needlework Shop, Channels of Healing, Love Garden Sounds, The Jazzhaus, The Crossing, The Lawrence Humane Society, Home Sweet Home Dog Resort, Local Burger, Conroy's Public House, Blue Dot Salon, Bert Nash Community Health Center, Pawsh Wash and Pet Health Market, Mass Beverage

This year Rosie's gonna be a sailor and Bean's gonna be a fireman. Zappa will be attending as a British lord. (Further proof that people and their dogs are strange.)

Costumes selling at the Pawsh Wash include a spider, cheerleader, superhero, pig, cow, sailor, firemen, witch, princess, clown, and the perennial favorite: the hot dog.


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