I’ve posted a bunch of pictures of Chloe in this carrier (snoozing on a Batobus, on a train to Chartres), and here are the details I’ve been promising. Milk & Pepper is a French company that makes dog clothing and accessories. I’ve never seen their products in the U.S., but according to the M&P website (click on “Stores”), they’re available in Northern California and New York. We found Chloe’s carrier in Paris at the BHV La Niche, among a line-up of all-European carriers.
The fact is, Chloe absolutely does not need any more carriers. At the moment I was contemplating the carrier selection at BHV La Niche, I had a pet sling rolled up in my purse, and Chloe’s messenger bag and large SturdiBag were stacked in our rental apartment (not to mention the, what, five additional carriers waiting for her back at home). Here’s another fact, though: I cannot pass up a good-looking carrier, and Milk & Pepper’s “Elite Kaba” is both good-looking and well-made.
It comes in two sizes, Medium (about 15″L x 10″H x 7″W) and Large (about 17.5″L x 13″H x 9″W). Chloe fits comfortably in the Large. Hers is made of heavy grey felt (a 50/50 wool blend) with a black nylon lining and black leather-like trim. As you can see, it’s open on both ends, and a large flap with a thumb-latch covers the top. More serious encouragement to stay put is provided by a built-in tether. The bottom is slightly padded; I keep trying to remember to put a handtowel on the bottom for more comfort.
BHV La Niche only had the winter version (the grey felt that we bought), but another store we visited carried M&P’s summer versions of the same bag: “Smart Kaba” (a grey cotton twill) and “City Kaba” (a seriously tempting khaki twill printed with images of famous monuments/buildings). You can see all of these bags by visiting M&P’s site and clicking on “Winter Collection” and “Summer Collection” and scrolling a couple of pages to the right.
Once we bought the “Elite Kaba,” it got a lot of use. By the end of our two-week trip, the felt was pilling slightly, but only slightly. It seems like a durable bag, and Chloe likes being able to observe the world from the open ends. It may be of somewhat less use in the U.S., where Chloe either walks on her own paws or is completely contained in her messenger bag — that said, though, I brought her in it yesterday to the pictured yarn store, Seattle’s Acorn Street Shop. (It’s a small shop, but it’s packed to the rafters with yarn and knitting supplies; I like shopping there all the more now that I know they’re dog-friendly — complete with treats!) They would have welcomed her on a leash, but it was easier for me to have her over my shoulder.
One last note: I was already carrying a purse in Paris (well, kind of — it was Tom Bihn’s small “Imago” messenger bag), and I didn’t want to have two things slung over my shoulder, so when Chloe wasn’t using her new carrier, I stuck my purse in it and carried the M&P bag like a purse. It worked well enough in that role that the one night we had a fancy dinner, I used it as my purse (note to self: It looked good, but next time, pack a clutch).