Lipstick on a Pug, you say? Why would anyone put lipstick on a pug?! Well, if you’re a little girl obsessed with fashion (like I was), and you have a lot of imagination, you might create dress up time with your best furry friend, a pug named Tuttie. And, that’s exactly what my friend and industry colleague, Laurren Darr, did. She’d tell you any day of the week, “I love pugs!” Now, she’s written about one, in particular, and this magical time in her childhood in her brand, new children’s book, Lipstick on a Pug.
This charming, wide-eyed tale, beautifully illustrated by Florina Boldi, tells the story of how Laurren met her very first pug, White Pines Tuttie (Tuttie, for short), when she was six years old. Tuttie had been abandoned by her owner at the vet’s office and Laurren’s aunt who worked there, had taken Tuttie home. Once Laurren laid eyes on this frightened pup with the smushed in face and bulging eyes, she fell madly in love. Luckily, her parents saw that, too, and Laurren’s bond with Tuttie and the adventures they shared became a seminal time in her life. That bond echoes what many of us experienced as kids with our own dogs, who’ve helped shape us into the adults we are.
They were partners in crime, well, design. After backyard playtime, Laurren would pull out the baby clothes she had especially bought for Tuttie and, dressed to the nines, they would stroll the neighborhood, with Laurren pushing Tuttie in a laundry cart. I would’ve loved to have seen that; a budding fashionista duo, turning heads and creating smiles on the streets of their suburban neighborhood.
And, what I also love is that Lipstick on a Pug is a story of empowerment; of Laurren and Tuttie helping each other to come out of their shells and discover themselves. Laurren went on, 30 years later, to create the International Association of Pet Fashion Professionals, a haven for fashion lovers, like herself, in pet design. Tuttie, who lived to the ripe old age of 15, begat several other pugs. Laurren currently shares her life with her fashion loving pug, Bella, her husband and her super cool, indie race car driver son, Zachary Tinkle. Zach is just 13 and, already, a champion. Last year, he was named Central States Region Super Cups Rookie of the Year. How about that?! An exciting life, indeed!