The final "paw-roduct"

Dog Writer Needs Help With Tattoo Selection: Inquire Within

The final "paw-roduct"
The final “paw-roduct”

Will it hurt? This is one of the most commonly asked questions customers pose to tattoo artists, and the very thing I uttered when I decided to take the plunge and “get inked,” as all the cool kids say.

“The physical pain is really more temporary and passes much quicker than the pain of losing your companion,” tattoo artist Andrea X. Tasha told me when I visited . For seven years, many impressions of dogs have been Mooncusser Tattoo shop in Massachusetts back in 2008.

Yours truly went under the needle twice, both in the name of dog.  For my 40th birthday, I gifted myself a tattoo.

The year was 2008 and while vacationing in Cape Cod with my then Cocker Spaniel, Brandy Noel,  I decided that I would have her paw print impression put on my leg. For all of her life, Brandy sat on my lap quite often. And when she would get up, her tiny ‘impression’ would leave a temporary paw imprint on my skin. Eureka! I decided to have her imprint done on my leg right where she would rest her paw forever.
The whole process took about an hour, the tattoo artist owned the shop (Mooncusser Tattoo), I did my research, talked to him about it, and decided to just do it. It really was not as painful as I thought and it healed up nicely. Three weeks after having this done, I lost my little girl to what was believed to be liver cancer and complications of IBD, which I suspect were from tainted treats. The chicken jerky dangers were being revealed and she was such a fan of those awful treats. Brandy was one week shy of her 15th birthday.

Okay, so it didn’t tickle.

One little last detail, and I think this was a gift from Brandy to me. I had initials of my life partner etched underneath Brandy’s paw print tattoo on my leg along with a small heart. Well on 11/08/08, little Dexter came into my life.  He is my “never again” and I adore him more than life itself. His initials are the exact same ones as the initials I had etched into my skin in Cape Cod. And as fate would have it, Dexter has the marking of a heart imprint in his fur. Talk about messages from the angels. He is truly a little gift from the heavens. In 2009, Dex marked the spot with a second paw print right next to his departed sister. Cocker Spaniels fur-ever.

Can yous see his heart?

Okay so now the I am jonesing for another tattoo. I don’t want to become a walking ink blot, but that would be a cool name for a band: The Walking Ink Blots, yes? I digress.

My favorite breed is, of course, Cocker Spaniels, aptly nicknamed Wigglebutts. If you’ve seen a Cocker butt you know that the entire thing wiggles and not just the tail. Hence the name: Wigglebutt. So I want something that represents wigglebutts, nothing that is obscene or weird looking. I just don’t want a picture of a dogs rear end on my flesh. I don’t know what it will be or where I will have it etched, but I’d like to do one sooner than later. This is where you all come in.

Oh and one caveat: I don’t want a huge tattoo and nothing on my face or neck. The actual tattoo, its location, and its design must have meaning. I am not alone in this pursuit, as many of my friends and Fidose followers have tats. In fact, my friend Devri went all guns blazing for her dogs, as evidenced by her story.

Okay so do tell, what should I get that would be in tune with Wigglebutts, and I don’t want a paw print.

I’m all ears and the tattoo gun awaits. 


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  1. This is a big decision as I know you know…you’re gonna be looking at it forever…I stole a design off the cover box of an 8 track tape (yes, I got my tat that many years ago) and luckily I’m still OK with it…it was a spur of the moment thing involving shots and a beer and a dare…

    But I digress…I do think a heart is appropriate, and how about placement on the inside of your wrist? Hows about a kind of rear quarter panel view of a Dexter dog with a reddish brown heart prominent on his hip? I may not have described it well but I can picture it and it’s cute

    1. Thanks a lot, Rebekah. I think I have a good idea after watching some of the replies and getting some feedback on Facebook, too.

  2. I would have “Forever Yours” tattooed under a paw print. I’m afraid to get a tat myself though. (cluck cluck)

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