‘Tails’ of Princeton

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Tracy K. Smith and Coco

By Sarah Emily Gilbert

Photography by Andrew Wilkinson

Princeton might be the home of the tigers, but it doesn’t seem complete without its dogs. Thanks to its dog-friendly places, the town abounds with proud owners and their furry companions. You’ll find pets and their parents sunning on the Princeton Battle
field and their more active counterparts jogging the Delaware and Raritan Canal. 
Nassau Street is full of fashionable dog-owner duos shopping at Lululemon Athletica or Urban Outfitters, and the Nassau Inn lodges both human and canine out-of-towners.

Princeton’s gastronomic landscape proves equally pooch-positive. The outdoor dining areas at Witherspoon Grill and Despana welcome dogs, and Benefit Boutique, along with other retailers, offers doggie water and treats on their sidewalks. In addition,
 a portion of the proceeds from the puppy ice cream sold at the bent spoon supports the American Rescue Farm of Mercer.

With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Princetonians rarely leave home without
their dogs. To celebrate the unique connection between the dogs and owners of 
Princeton, we photographed some of the town’s most devoted packs of two.

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TRACY AND COCO

Owner: Tracy K. Smith, Writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Princeton University

Dog: Coco, 6 year-old female from SAVE Animal Rescue

Breed: Chocolate Labrador Retriever

Favorite Princeton Activity: Long walks along the paths near Lake Carnegie, and curling up on the couch.

“Coco and I bonded pretty instantly. We visited SAVE in January to donate Shaba, our older dog’s, belongings after he passed away. My husband has always been the true dog lover. I’ve just kind of gone along for the ride. But something urged me to take a look at the dogs waiting for homes, and when Coco and I met, there was this great feeling of recognition. I guess I’d call it a conversion experience. I feel as though I’ve met my ‘spirit animal.’” — Tracy K. Smith

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ANDREW AND SASHA

Owner: Andrew Mangone, Co-owner of Hinkson’s The Office Store

Dog: Sasha, 9 year-old female from a shelter 
in Colts Neck, NJ

Breed: Black American Cocker Spaniel

Favorite Princeton Activity: Walking 
through town

“Sasha was used for breeding, but once she lived out her usefulness, she was taken to a pound in Philadelphia, rescued, and adopted by Andrew. Now, she lives out her days greeting customers at Hinkson’s The Office Store. According to Andrew, “Sasha is great with people, especially children, which works out well for me since she comes to the store with me most of the time.” – Andrew Mangone

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LIZ AND BAGEL BEAR

Owner: Liz Lempert, Mayor of Princeton

Dog: Bagel Bear, 6 month-old female from Unleashed NY, a leadership and empowerment program for middle school girls centered on puppy rescue

Breed: Australian Shepherd Mix or Hound Mix

Favorite Princeton Activity: Walking along the towpath and around Mountain Lakes

“Bagel Bear’s name was a joint effort. I have two daughters—one wanted to name our puppy ‘Bagel,’ and the other wanted to name her ‘Bear.’ ‘Bagel Bear’ was the compromise. Bagel Bear gets along with everyone—little kids, other dogs, and even our mailman! She is sweet and gentle with our pet bunny, too. She is a good dog, and super enthusiastic. She sits on command, but being in a sitting position doesn’t stop her from wagging her tail and doing a little dance with her front paws. She’s managed to scoot herself half way across the kitchen floor without ever standing up.” — Liz Lempert

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JOHN AND DUDLEY

Owner: John Sayer, Retired Re-insurance Broker

Dog: Dudley, 6 year-old male adopted from a breeder after retiring from the dog show circuit

Breed: Bouvier des Flandres

Favorite Princeton Activity: Walking around town

Dudley is one lucky dog. John got a call in January 2014 informing him that a Bouvier show dog didn’t pass his eye exam, and the breeder no longer wanted him. Not only did John immediately drive to Connecticut to adopt the former U.S. and Canadian champion, but he also took Dudley to PennVet to get his eyes checked. As it turns out, Dudley’s vision is perfect. Always a champion in the Sayer’s eyes, John proudly states, “Dudley is our fourth and best Bouvier!” – John Sayer

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SARAH AND HAIMISH

Owner: Sarah Martinez, Lower School Teacher 
at The Lewis School

Dog: Haimish, 3 year-old male

Breed: Miniature Australian Shepherd

Favorite Princeton Activity: Walking around town 
with the students in nice weather

“Haimish is a kind-hearted, gentle, and caring dog. He loves children and is exceptionally patient with them. He is the ‘life of the party’ when we take him places outside of school. He loves to play with other dogs, especially his sister Scarlet. He began training at The Lewis School when he was 12 weeks old, so he has grown up here and many of the children remember when he was little. They have enjoyed watching him grow into the handsome dog that he is.” — Sarah Martinez

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NICOLE AND TARZAN

Owner: Nicole Toto Vogel, Math and Science 
Teacher at The Lewis School

Dog: Tarzan, 3 year-old male from Crossing Paths Animal Rescue in Yardley, PA

Breed: Labrador Retriever/Irish Setter Mix

Favorite Princeton Activity: Visit The Lewis School

“Tarzan is a very sensitive dog. He has an innate ability to respond to people’s moods and sense when someone is upset. People who see him can’t help but smile, as he is such a happy and loving dog. Tarzan’s favorite foods are bananas, pretzels, and popcorn. He loves to stretch and will do downward-facing dog several times a day.” — Nicole Toto Vogel

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SARAH AND SCARLET

Owner: Sarah Stevens, Lower School Teacher 
at The Lewis School

Dog: Scarlet, 3 year-old female

Breed: Miniature Australian Shepherd

Favorite Princeton Activity: Working 
at The Lewis School

“Scarlet is very perceptive and loves children. She enjoys play dates with her brother Haimish, and visiting her birth family, the McCulloughs.” — Sarah Stevens